“And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Nehemiah 8:9-12)
The people were returning to Jerusalem. The temple was rebuilt. The walls around the city were rebuilt. But more importantly, hearts were turning back to God. The people realized their wrong and wept for it. But the great thing was that God forgave. Nehemiah and Ezra told the people to worship and celebrate God for all that He had done. He had protected them in their time of exile. He brought them back to their home. And He stood ready to forgive them. Because of this, the people could eat and drink and celebrate, because they had something to truly celebrate.
This week, remember all that God has done. More importantly, remember that He stands ready when you want to repent and turn back to Him. He is waiting with open arms.