The Israelites fret about the state of the Temple, but Haggai assures them they do not need to live in worry. The Temple will be built and the resources for it will come. Haggai confirms that God indeed has some shaking up to do. Yet God’s shaking of the heavens and the earth and the sea and the land and the nations will bring splendor to the house of God, which will outshine the legacy of the glory in Solomon’s Temple. Haggai’s words call the people to carry on with the work and to trust in the promise of God’s provision along the way. The Temple will be rebuilt through their efforts; they can trust in this.
In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the shores of Puerto Rico with devastating impact. The rebuilding efforts no doubt continue to this day. In rebuilding Puerto Rico, the people are rebuilding the infrastructure of their communities rather than a temple. Yet, these catastrophic events shake us in ways that remind us of our humanity as we observe the fragility of life and all that we build.
In times of crisis, we sometimes look for individuals who represent Christ’s love, a self-sacrificial love to the point of self-risk. As important as this is, we should also look for a body, the body of believers re-membering Christ and sharing with all the world the gifts of Christ’s love alive in them. When devastation strikes—and it will—Haggai reminds us that we are a people who join together to rebuild for the glory of God.
Holy God, remind us again and again of the gift in every moment of our life with you. Receive the work of our hands as one of the ways we lift up praise and worship you. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will pass on the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you had to rely on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How do you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the ways God will answer your questions in unexpected ways?
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