Nehemian 2:1-8; Ps 137 Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you; Luke 9:57
Today we read from the old testament and hear the story of Nehemiah. It is a strange story that begins with what seems to be a casual conversation.
Nehemiah is serving the king wine. He is minding his own business and dutifully fluffing the task at hand.
The only difference was that Nehemiah was sad. He had grown homesick for Jerusalem and the temple which had been destroyed.
Upon seeing this sadness on Nehemiah's face the king asked a question. The king was concerned. The king cared.
"Why do you look sad?" "If you are not sick you must be sad at heart?"
A simple question. A simple casual conversation.
Yet it began to unfold the God has chosen to work in history in the favor of the Israelites.
Nehemiah opened up. He let the king in. He was honest and forth coming and something amazing happens: grace.
What follows is that Nehemiah gets appointed governor of Judah and then is commissioned to rebuild the temple.
Who knows what wonder God may work through a simple and casual conversation.
The other side of the story is that Nehemiah wasn't afraid to ask. He made a request. He was bold. God's favor paved the way for success.
How often have we experienced similar moments in our life though perhaps not on a grand as scale as Nehemiah. We enter into a conversation. We opened up to another or we let some in to our life and God's grace began to work and transform.
Secondly, we hear these words of Jesus in the gospel, "let the dead bury the dead. But you go and proclaim the kingdom if God...No one who sets his hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
Bottom line: there is always a greater relative importance in our relationship to Jesus than any other relationship. It is and must be more significant than all others.