Day 172: Nehemiah 10-12, Psalm 140, I Corinthians 15

By The Rev. Canon Joseph Galgalo

The opening chapter of Nehemiah paints a grim picture. A situation of despair, loss and ruin is depicted. Nehemiah receives depressing news that “the survivors are in great trouble and disgrace” (1:3). Taking it hard he weeps and mourns but also through fasting and prayer (1:4) keeps hope alive.

In chapter 10-12, a story of amazing recovery, celebration and hope begins to unfold. Nehemiah, through faith and godly devotion, exemplary leadership, courage and hard work and by God’s help turns the situation around. We see how unwavering faith in God inspires hope and draws achievements beyond imagination. When we look at the world from the vantage point of faith, hope is stirred and it is possible to see infinite possibilities in God’s world and thereby inspire light and life into situations that often spell death and gloom.

I Corinthians 15 present the hope of resurrection, without which our faith is in vain. Human existence is inauthentic, a story of despair, loss and ruin if only death had the final say. The biblical doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is of utmost importance but yet seen also by many as incredible. As Paul here says, without the hope of resurrection, our faith is futile and that “if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all …” (v.19). If we believe in the power of God, it is not difficult to see that resurrection is not only possible but also plausible. Resurrection gives us hope, the courage to face each new day, and the boldness to believe in possibilities beyond imagination.

Question
Is the biblical doctrine of resurrection reasonable? How would Christian faith be any different had Christ not resurrected from the dead?

Prayer
Gracious God, thank you for hope and courage in the face of all adversity, and for the blessed assurance of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life. Amen

The Rev. Canon Joseph Galgalo is Vice Chancellor, St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya