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And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work."

–Nehemiah 2:18

At the time of this writing, it has been 70 years since the Babylonians overtook the land of Judah and exiled the Israelites to Babylon. Now, the land is under Persian rule, and the King of Persia has given the prophet Nehemiah permission to return and rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem.

As Nehemiah tells the people, the Lord’s hand of favor is upon them. Hearing his words, they rise up together to do “the good work.”

That doesn’t mean, of course, that all is rosy. As the book unfolds, Nehemiah has to evaluate the situation and adjust plans during difficult circumstances, including slowing down the work to ensure the safety of the people. But over time, Jerusalem, including the holy temple later visited by Jesus, is rebuilt.

Like the rest of the world, Mississippi College is looking back on a year marked by uncertainty. Shutdowns, social distancing, and necessary safety restrictions sometimes left us feeling as though we were in a COVID-driven exile.

As we return to campus for the 2021-22 year, we know that situations can change at a moment’s notice, yet we’re moving forward with optimism and faith. Like Nehemiah, we’re focused on “the good work” God has called us to do and trusting that He will strengthen our hands.

Last year, Joshua 1:9 reminded us to be strong and courageous. This year, we’re taking Nehemiah 2:18 as our theme.

Together, let’s rise up and make this a year built on the “good work” God calls us to do.


The University's plan is subject to change based on our evolving understanding of COVID-19 and its impact. Check this website often for the latest information.

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