A couple of months ago, I wrote the following:
Ultimately, Nehemiah’s story is a tale of recovery from a disastrous collapse of a decadent society, where hierarchy, exploitation and dependence on outside powers demanded a response that turned traditional power structures on their heads. That’s why it is so terribly relevant today. The crash hasn’t happened yet, but it is already unfolding all around us.
In the same way that Jesus’ followers in the Book of Acts pieced together a better way in their time, we need to seek models that work better than what our own Empire has delivered.
Let’s not be stubborn this time and wait for generations to suffer the effects of our arrogance. Let’s learn from the mistakes outlined in Nehemiah’s story. Let’s start tangibly rebuilding community now by organizing in ways that help us unplug from a system that – can I just say it? – is evil.
I ended this writing abruptly. As the name suggests, I had intended to pick it up again. Eight weeks have passed. That’s 56 days. Incidentally, that’s four days longer than it took Nehemiah to organize a community under siege to build a wall. He was a heckuva community organizer. Clearly the strategic thing would be to stop comparing myself to Nehemiah, but the more I look at that comparison the more important I think it is. I am particularly struck by how he kept sitting on his ass until Something picked him up by the scruff of the neck and got him in motion.
I don’t know if I’m up for doing something like what he pulled off, but I know I can’t do it alone.
And to get the right people involved, I need to get more people seriously thinking about the Bible as a manual for what needs to happen now. And to do that, I need to finish what I started to say about disasters, get people thinking about how the story of Sodom is the story of a revolution gone horribly wrong. Or how the split between the tribes of Judah and Israel represented a legitimate uprising against a brutal and corrupt regime that only survived because it had tricked everyone to believe that God was on the side of the powerful.
This is an open invitation. I would be grateful if any of you who read these words checks in on me in the near future, to keep me accountable about the writing that I need to do now. You know who you are. Not sure? Well, then maybe you should ask God. If you ask me I’ll just tell you yes.
Specifically, I want you all to expect me to post something on Sunday evening in which I finish that thought I started to express back in September. And then please keep poking me if I ever go more than a week or so without writing something. Thank you.