“And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel” (Nehemiah 8:1).
Having returned from Babylonian exile, the Hebrews were a broken and fragmented people; searching for an identity and a common purpose. It is out of the exile of human circumstance that God has called each one of us to become one in the community of faith…the church. Being his people, we have a collective and communal identity. We are part of a greater whole commissioned with the task of reaching and inviting others out of the loneliness of their exile.