The Narrative Lectionary reading for today is Nehemiah 8:1-18. The people of Israel had been in exile in Babylon for 70 years. The Persian Empire took over and King Cyrus let the people return to Jerusalem to rebuild it. This is what the stories of Ezra and Nehemiah are all about.
The people were tired. They were surrounded by enemies who did not want them to succeed. They were plagued by the memories of why they had been in exile and why their beloved city lay in ruin.
Then Ezra began to read the Law of Moses to them and two things happened. First, they began to regain their sense of identity as God’s people. Second, they began to weep because of the overwhelming sense of grief, fatigue, and relief.
Nehemiah told them to take a break. Go, he said, and have a feast. Take rest in the fact that God has been at work in all of this.
In other words, “God’s Got This!”
May you hear those words spoken into whatever troubles you are facing today. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Rest in that.