And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel.  So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.  And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.  And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand.  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.  Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places.  They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
After the Babylonian Exile and all of the prophecies of the prophets coming true, the people of Israel have reunited in Jerusalem to read the scriptures again for the first time as a people. Can you imagine? The defining Law of their God had been neglected for so long that when they read it together, they were actually SHOCKED at what they read?
Even better, they all heard it read together at the same time, so they were all on the same page.
Even better, there were people dispersed throughout the crowd, Levites by ancestry and training, who explained the readings during scheduled breaks in the reading. The people took a deliberate step to intentionally understand God’s words better.
As we join together and make reading and discussing God’s word a priority, we all grow. It gives God more space to work in our lives and more ways for us to mature as Christians.
Read it together and talk about it. Make the Bible app button on your phone easier to click than the Facebook or Snapchat app. Then share what you read and what you think.
It will help every one of us, even your neighbors that don’t know it will help them yet.