With the renewal of the city, the people delight in hearing God’s law read aloud. They realize that God’s hand has been instrumental in the events that have led to their restoration. They listen attentively. They raise their hands in expectation and bow their heads in obedience and submission. Upon Ezra’s blessing of the Lord, they respond with a hearty “Amen, Amen.” They agree with Ezra’s blessing of the Lord, and they accept the law as read to them.
Worshiping God and living by God’s commandments lay at the center of Israel’s existence. God’s people rejoice as the words of the law affirm their covenant relationship with God and their keeping the commandments as an example to all the earth. They rejoice in God as their deliverer.
When the people gather, they come with a reverent attitude. Even as Ezra opens the book of the law, they stand. They acknowledge by their actions that they worship a God worthy of praise, honor, and glory. The gesture of their hands, the bowed heads and prostrate bodies indicate the attitude of their hearts.
Growing up in east Texas, I was taught to enter into worship reverently. My family took worship seriously. On Sunday, we gathered to give thanks and celebrate the holy of holies. We gathered as the body of Christ to grow and learn and then to disperse into the world to be the hands and feet of Christ. We wore our Sunday best to worship. I witnessed elders who prayed fervently on their knees. The choir sang praises to God, and the pastor preached for the transformation of people’s lives.
How can we come to worship with an expectancy and obedience that leads to an Amen experience?

Almighty God, I offer you my worship and praise. May I experience the power of your word. Amen.


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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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