Bringing the Text to Life

Gutsy Joy Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 5-6, 8-10

However many your fears and failures; however many times you must pick yourself up from the hurts and pains of life and go on; however difficult it is to get through each day - the joy of the Lord can be yours.

A cartoonist successfully divided the entire human race into two types with one telling illustration. The cartoon pictured two women at a well. Each has a bucket with which to draw water. One woman, looking sad and bitter, remarks, "Life is terrible. Every time I fill this bucket up, it is empty within minutes." The other woman, who appears at peace with herself, replies, "I think life is wonderful. Every time this bucket is empty, I can simply fill it up again."

Is the bucket always being emptied or always being filled? It is the old question of "is the glass half-empty or half-full?" poignantly pictured. But does it really make any difference how you see the glass, how you view that bucket? If you are thinking theologically, the answer is a definite "yes. " We must choose sides. This sermon, taking its cue from Nehemiah, helps you make that call. Clearly, for the people of God, the glass is half-full. The bucket is being perpetually filled.

Much of the thrust of this week's text...

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