Completing the project…

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Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall (the rebuilding of the wall around the city of Jerusalem) was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.

Here we read that the reconstruction of the wall around Jerusalem, destroyed by the Babylonians many years before, was completed. I’m sure many thought that day would never come, but it did. Obviously, the Israelites were happy, but some other nations, hostile to Israel, were not.

“…for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.”

This was a huge project completed in a remarkably short time. And, even for those who were not among God’s people, God received the glory for the accomplishment.

The church I lead in suburban Dallas is completing a project of our own this week – an upgrade to audio and installation of video capabilities in our worship space. This is a big deal at our church. While there has certainly been excitement surrounding the project, there has also been some apprehension. How do we embrace modern media elements, and new technology, without losing our identity as a Lutheran church? Where is the line?

To be honest, there is no “line” that we can easily follow – or one upon which everyone will agree. The answer is that we will need to be continually in prayer, asking the Lord to lead and guide us as we look for signs of fruitfulness – and make the inevitable mistakes that come with doing new things. Some questions for our church:

Do the new technology upgrades enhance our ability to communicate the gospel to those already present at Rejoice and those we’ve yet to meet?

Have we retained appropriate “Lutheran” identity elements in the traditional worship services that speak to those for whom this is important?

How do we both celebrate what God is doing in our midst – while recognizing some people aren’t as enthused as others?

Lord, you are able to accomplish through your people far, far more than we could ever do on our own. We may not be rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem, but we are investing in your kingdom on earth. Give us grace to withstand the obstacles in our way so that you get the glory in our success. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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