“. . .they refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them; . . .but you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and you did not forsake them.” (Nehemiah 9:17, NRSV)
Those exiled in Babylon had returned to their land and to Jerusalem. The walls of the city had been rebuilt under the leadership of Nehemiah. Ezra, the chief priest, called the people together for a reading of the Law and a little preaching, including the words noted above. Perhaps we have been in some sort of exile, by our deeds or by circumstance cut off from God and from being the persons God has intended for us to be. Maybe we have simply been going our own way, unaware of the wonders God performs in our lives every day. Whatever the case, God did not forsake those ancient people and He does not forsake us. He loves us with an abundance of steadfast love. Steadfast: unceasing; always there. By the power of the Holy Spirit may we keep our eyes open to the wonders God is performing within us and around us, and keep our hearts open to His steadfast love.
God of Steadfast Love, when we wander from your ways and betray both You and the best that is within us, bring us home again in the secure knowledge of your steadfast love.
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Falls City