It wasn’t on our tour itinerary. I don’t recall the first time I even heard it was possible, but when I found out—I jumped at the chance.
It’s called the “Wall Walk.” You climb up steep stairs in an ancient tower near Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, and you can walk half way around the city on TOP OF THE WALLS! Even though I had visited Jerusalem many times, I had never seen it from this perspective.
The walls were high—and thick—and very, very long. I passed up several exit points and just kept walking, fascinated at every turn. As it happens, I passed up one too many exits because when I finally descended at Lion’s Gate, it was padlocked. I had to retrace my steps back to Herod’s Gate where I exited into the bedlam that is the Arab Quarter of Old Jerusalem.
The walls I walked aren’t very old by biblical standards; they were built by the Ottomans in the early 1500s! But the size and scope certainly gave me an appreciation for what Nehemiah had accomplished. I try to imagine what it must have been to see those walls torn down and all the gates burned. To rebuild on such a colossal scale—it really is hard to conceive.
Yet Nehemiah did it. He always gave God the credit for it, but the fact is, God chose to work through a bunch of willing humans. Just as he does today. As we continue on our theme of being “For the City,” this weekend’s story will remind us that God can take the most remarkably diverse group of willing people and accomplish the almost unthinkable. This weekend we will meet the folks who raised their hands and said “I’m in! I want to do something to bless my city.” (And, by the way, we will meet the knuckleheads who took a pass—their loss!)
I hope it will inspire you to do the same. I’ll see you in church—and why not bring someone along?