Day 26 | March 31

Day 26 | March 31 | Mark 11:1-25
By: Ellen Weinstock

It’s a familiar story – so familiar that we are tempted to rush through the behind the scenes preparations.  Two unidentified disciples retrieve a colt from an unknown owner.  Unnamed followers cut down branches to prepare the way, others scattered their garments. They were all part of the preparations, but nobody thought to record their names.  After all, it wasn’t about them.

There is an identified person, however, that participated in the preparations.  His name was Shemaiah, keeper of the East Gate.  Don’t remember reading about him?  That’s because it’s not recorded in any of the Gospels.  Nearly 500 years earlier, under the direction of Nehemiah, Shemaiah and other Jews returning from exile rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem; his specific assignment was the east gate. (Neh. 3)

There was plenty of opposition as they labored - so much so that they were compelled to hold a weapon in one hand and their construction tools in the other.  With perseverance and conviction, they prevailed.  When the walls were completed and the gates put in place, they held a dedication. Ascending the walls with singing, praising, and thankfulness to the God who had protected and provided for its completion, Shemaiah was among them.  And God was listening.
Without the foresight of Nehemiah, Shemaiah and others, there might not have been a gate to enter.  Perhaps those very stones were still reverberating with the praises Jesus heard centuries earlier as He passed under them that day.

I’ve read snippets recently from the lives of my ancestors, among them a crusader and a Revolutionary War spy.  But the ones that stick out the most are the circuit rider preacher, various pastors, and stalwart laymen who made such an impact on their communities that their obituaries are filled with laud for the God they served. Without them, I would not be in the position I am today.

When Jesus enters that gate again in His Ultimate Triumphal Entry, will the stones we’ve left behind still have a voice that echoes His praises, having brought others to Him?  What kind of a stone mason are you?
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John Pickens - March 31st, 2022 at 6:38am

Great connection to the stories in the Old Testament! It’s a reminder that our faithfulness impacts the future.

Ron Spruill - March 31st, 2022 at 7:46am

Thank you so much Ellen! For reminding me that God is speaking to me every breath I take,every move I make, He is watching me!! Blessings on you and yours this day!!

Gordon Wetmore Jr - March 31st, 2022 at 9:13am

Excellent meditation on the stories and connections of the Bible. I enjoyed the ancestral connections of your family tree, It reminds me of the song, “Find us Faithful.”

Amy Wetmore - March 31st, 2022 at 10:50pm

In true Ellen form, this is so good!!!!! Love that Old Testament connection!! Great devotional, Ellen! Thank you!!!