After spending well over a year on the creation of our new "brand identity," I began to reflect on the new name, CitySquare, from a theological/biblical perspective. Subconsciously I think our new name jumped out at me when I first saw it among a number of other choices that we had before us.
If you scroll down to my post last Sunday, November 7, 2010, you'll see my thoughts on the struggle of Job and how his entire life seemed wrapped up in the city or public square where the witness of his life worked itself out.
Today I'm thinking of the time of Nehemiah.
Consider the following account of the reading of the Torah to the captives now returned to their city, Jerusalem:
So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
Note the key phrase as to the location of this event: "in the square before the Water Gate."
A city square is a place for values clarification, for law and for the understanding of custom, rules, justice and public policy. Part of our work will always involve this matter of pouring our values and our standards into the mind of the larger community.
CitySquare--it's a name that contains much meaning and it's working for us.
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