After a 70 year exile in Babylon, the Israelites triumphantly returned to their beloved Jerusalem. The people stood behind the newly rebuilt walls and listened as the priest Ezra read aloud from the Book of the Law of Moses. And as they realized how horribly they had rejected and sinned against God, the people began to weep. Have you ever wept because of sin? Had times where you have rejected the Word of God? I have. And my heart has been broken knowing the hurt I have caused my Lord. But we serve a God of unending mercy and love. And like Nehemiah told the downhearted Israelites, instead of weeping over past sin we should rejoice! Because when we truly repent and return to God, He welcomes us back joyfully, and with open arms. And to experience such unmerited grace not only heals our hearts, but renews our strength!