Haggai 1:15b – 2:9
For Sunday, November 11, 2007 (Proper 27)
The messages we allow through to our souls affect us. This is why I find I need to be more and more discriminating about the television that my family and I watch. What message is this show sending to me and to us? Is it helpful? Boy… that will make you pick up a book.
The message that Israel was sending itself at the time of Haggai was, “It’s over.” Yes, they said, we can try to rebuild the temple, but it will never be what it was under Solomon. This same attitude can come to hold sway in both churches and individuals. “Yes, we can still do some things, but basically, it’s over.”
Not so, says Haggai. Your best days are ahead of you. Why? God says:
1) because “I am with you”
2) because I keep my commitments (covenants)
3) because my Spirit remains among you
4) because once more, like I shook the earth at Mount Sinai, I’m going to do it again
There are actually more reasons here but I’ll constrain myself to these four. The fourth point is near and dear to my heart, because this is the one verse of the book of Haggai quoted in the New Testament, in one of my favorite books, the Book of Hebrews. The theme of that book is that we as the people of God are receiving an unshakeable kingdom. Everything but that kingdom will be shaken, but what we already have can never be taken away.
So what? Here’s the so what, says Haggai: be strong, and work. What does it mean to be strong? To know, as one friend put it recently, that “God has your back.” What does it mean ‘ to work’? It means to fulfill the mandates of your calling. Not sure what that calling is? Sit down with the Lord for 15 minutes, and then do what he tells you. Do that for a week, and you’ll have a much better idea of what the mandates of your calling actually are.
Feeling discouraged? Out of focus? Overwhelmed? Time for an attitude reboot. Let’s be strong and then in the grace and peace of Christ, let’s get busy.