They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back
in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is
broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some
days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1
Nehemiah was a prominent
official in the court of Artaxerxes I, the fifth King of Persia who
reigned from 465 BC to 424 BC.
He was concerned about the welfare of the survivors living in Jerusalem.
account, Nehemiah was a comfortable person being the king’s cup bearer; however
we won’t be reading of him today but for his interest in Jerusalem, he met a need
and found greatness. Today, you won’t need to go to Jerusalem to find nobility;
there are needs in every community. You only need to look around you and there
will be a need you can meet.
may not have the acumen to spearhead a community development project but
everyone can and must do something.
following quote from Harry Emerson Fosdick puts it so well. “A person
completely wrapped up in himself makes a small package indeed. The great day
comes when a man begins to get himself off his hands. He has lived, let us say,
in a mind like a room surrounded by mirrors. Everywhere he turned, he saw
himself. Now, however, some of the mirrors change to windows. He can see
through them. He begins to get out of himself –no longer a prisoner of
self-reflection but a free man in a world where persons, causes, truths and
values exist, worthful for their own sake. Thus to pass from a mirror-mind to a
mind with windows is an essential element in the development of real
you make over and above what is expected of you is usually what gives you
fulfilment and adds meaning to existence. Giving back to the community is not
what people do when they have become great; the mind to give back is what makes
for greatness. An African maxim states; “the giving hand stays above”, give and
keep yourself on top.