The frustration with renting isn’t just that you are paying off someone else’s mortgage, there are other limitations too.
Reference: v.17b From the days of Jushua son of Nun until that day, the Israelties had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I have been renting a home for twelve years. But by the end of this year I will be moving in to my very own home. The frustration with renting isn’t just that you are paying off someone else’s mortgage, there are other limitations too. You have to ask permission to hang a picture on the wall, you have to go through the estate agent to get anything fixed and you can’t choose the colours or interior fixtures.
As the Israelites rebuilt Jerusalem they discovered not just a new city but a whole new way of worshipping God. It was like they had been renting their faith for generations and now they were discovering a whole new way of life. As Ezra read more of the scriptures they went back to celebrating feasts and obeyed the instructions that God had given to Moses all those years ago. They were rebuilding their own lives and their faith was also being rebuilt.
Application: If we have been to church our whole lives we often take for granted the way we celebrate God. Worship and community just seem like standard practice. However, when someone new comes into our faith group and they ask questions of why and how, we too have to clarify why and how we commit our lives to God. Likewise, if we have stayed in church all our lives, it’s all we’ve ever known. And we start to realise that our faith practices have only been rented from others and we don’t truly take ownership of our own expressions of faith. It’s so important that we continue to grow in our faith, even if we have built our own Jerusalem and have been following God’s laws for all our life. God is so big that we can never fully understand him. But that gives us the opportunity to learn something new and glorious about Him each and every day.
Prayer: Lord, we can never fully understand all of You. You are glorious and majestic and each day our eyes are opened anew to Your wonder. Amen.
What part of your faith are you ‘renting’ from someone else? How can you make it truly your own?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.