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Reform Magazine | February 26, 2017

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Chapter & verse: Ezra 3

Chapter & verse: Ezra 3

Neil Thorogood celebrates new beginnings

Things get going again in many churches after a bit of a break over the summer. Here at Westminster College, we’re fully focused on the new term and academic year. As the evenings begin to shorten, hinting that the year has turned a corner, we are busy with beginnings.

As we start again, we might have a feeling we’ve been here before. How on earth has a whole year gone? Or, maybe we reach this point with a great sense of accomplishment, of a host of things well done and set up, ready to go.

I’ve been reading through the book of Ezra in the Hebrew scriptures. I find it speaks rather wonderfully into this time of year – this season of beginnings and restarts. Ezra, and its companion Nehemiah, retells the story of the return of the exiles after the disaster of 587BC, when many had been carried off into Babylon. Under Cyrus of Persia, who has defeated the Babylonians, people are allowed to return to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple out of the rubble left when it fell and was ransacked (Ezra 1:1-4)  …

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This is an extract from the October 2016 edition of  Reform.

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