“Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.” NIV

The ‘Sheep Gate’ was probably the part of the city where the animals for sacrifice were brought in. It would obviously be a natural sphere of interest for the priests. They needed to ensure that the worship of God, in the prescribed way, would stay at the centre of the city’s life. Its overall health and well-being was dependent on it. We are truly grateful to live in days in which we know that the many, and repeated, animal sacrifices of the Old Testament era have been perfectly fulfilled in Jesus, and all our worship of God is centred in Him.

We see in the early part of Acts 6 that, as a general principle, the local church should be so ordered that spiritual leaders can give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. But there do come special times – moments of crisis and emergency – where everyone needs to role up their sleeves and pitch in. Church leaders should not be reluctant about getting their hands ‘dirty’. We must never imagine that any kind of practical work is beneath us. Reading through chapter 3, it is striking to see the number and variety of people who got involved in rebuilding the walls. ‘There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.’ You have a part to play, and there will be a gap if you don’t fill it.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you are the builder of the church. But I thank you that you have taken me on as a labourer in your workforce. Under your leadership, may I know and play my part.