How many of you when you’ve finished watching a great movie, take any notice of the credits at the conclusion? The Producers, the Directors, the main actors of course, right through to who provided the lunch, made the coffee, did the haircuts and makeup and swept the floor? They’re called credits for a reason because the people who made the movie want to acknowledge the efforts and input of those people who made the movie possible.
Just like the specific names of families and descendants and numbers of them in Nehemiah 7, they mean something. The purpose of Nehemiah’s list was Practical and Spiritual and served as a demarcation between the wall rebuild and Jerusalem’s spiritual rebuild. Nehemiah wasn’t digging up old antiquated historical facts for no purpose, he was affirming the place the purpose and the importance of these people and their families in what was ahead for them as a people of God.
We know absolutely nothing about these people but they aren’t filling useless space in the scriptures, each of them was important, significant, part of the heritage that built the wall, and we could say the story of God.
And a lot has changed over the years. A lot of names and faces have passed through FBC. The Lord has used each one to contribute something to where we are today. In the context of this passage, we remember the work, the mission, the prayer, and the worship of God of all the people who laid the foundation for this present moment.
We now are reaping the benefits of the hard work, the discipleship and prayer of others and the work of God at the centre of all that. We are looking forward with great anticipation, in faith, seeking the vision and purposes of God for what he wants us to do in this city.
You are not just a name in a directory, but part of his church, that he is building. God’s mission for us is not ultimately dependent on us. It is ultimately dependent on the power and wisdom and faithfulness of the risen and living Christ to do what he said he will do and is doing.
You and I are part of that church!