They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted and prayed to the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:3-4)


If ever there were a time when we could relate to these words, the beginning months of 2021 may be it. After a year when we have experienced “great trouble,” and when so much of our routines have been “torn down,” we long for days of rebuilding.

During six weeks leading up to Easter, we’ll be exploring the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah, where we see these two men leading God’s people through a broken nation. In their lives, we will see who God is in the midst of our own rebuilding, both individually and corporately. Along the way, we will engage in spiritual practices that can draw us closer to God.

Each Sunday’s message will highlight a spiritual practice. After hearing the message each week, we want to give you the chance to practice, and we’ve created a guide for each week to help. Use the guide online or download this PDF version to print at home. The printed version includes room for reflection and journaling.

Further Resources

“The Life You’ve Always Wanted” Small Group

We have an excellent six-week small group study during the Lenten season, which will be a great complement to the sermon series. The study will be going over John Ortberg’s “The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People.” This group will meet virtually through Zoom February 21-March 28. Rest assured this group is for everyone, no prior Bible knowledge is needed, just a willingness to be yourself and a desire to learn. Contact Scott Thayer if you are interested.

Knowing God: How Do We Get to Know Jesus?

Sermons from This Series