Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them. – Ezra 5v1-2
I don’t have a lot to say this morning. I just noticed something at the very end of this passage. After the prophets had preached the word of God to the people and told them to get to work we read ‘the prophets of God were with them, helping them.’
This seemingly small comment says a lot. It tells me first of all that the prophets were also workers. They were not too good or too proud to get their hands dirty doing the work.
I also like the fact that their work was not only spiritual, but physical. These prophets, who played a role of vital spiritual leadership, were not afraid to get down and help the people pick up bricks and mortar and do the work.
I think there is a lesson here for us preachers. I know that Acts tells us that the apostles took on the deacons so that they could dedicate themselves to ‘prayer and the ministry of the word.’ That, however, does not exclude us from doing our part of the everyday work.
We, after all, call ourselves minsters. That means that we serve. These prophets ministered the word, but they also ministered by getting to work.
What does that mean for us today? It means that we are not above doing the everyday stuff. There is no reason why we should not clean the toilets and move the chairs and pick up the rubbish. There is no reason why we need to find some kind of ‘ministry stuff’ to distract us when everyone else is working.
After we minster the word, why not get busy and make sure that we are doing our part to help?