The Old Testament book of Ezra tells of the returning Jewish exiles and the restoring of their religious lives as well as the city of Jerusalem. The author wishes to affirm this godly remnant commitment to God and warn the community to not repeat mistakes of their past. There are historical traditions, recordings of liturgical developments, or ways the people are to worship, and genealogical lists important to the Jewish faith found in the book of Ezra. The importance of the Temple and religious leaders is also affirmed in these later books referred to as the Second Temple period in Judaism. What is also unique to Ezra is it is a book with a genre identified as memoirs, first and third-person narratives about Ezra.
“16The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17They offered at the dedication of this house of God one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18Then they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.”
Good Shepherd, how you have continually sought out your people and claimed them, as we hear of the people gathered again at your holy temple. Continue to seek me out when I wander and continue to call me back into the community of your believers to better follow you in my daily life. Amen.