Rebuilding God's House
Then the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little, you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord. You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because my house lies in ruins, while all of you hurry off to your own houses. Haggai 1: 3-9 (NRSV)
Dianne Fegan lives in Queensland, Australia. Her church has recently undergone a split where about half of the congregation has left for a variety of reasons ranging from doctrinal disagreements to personality differences.
In today's reading Haggai challenged the governor and the high priest about their priorities. The temple that had been demolished by the Babylonians when Judah went into exile had lain in ruins ever since. Then Haggai intervened.
These verses challenged Dianne regarding the situation of her church. Amidst the rubble of hurt, questions, and doubt there is also a sense of growth and rebuilding. So Dianne asked herself, "How can I be involved in rebuilding our congregation?" She can participate in the many prayer sessions, Bible studies, and activities. She can invite friends to come with her and to share Christ with others more often. She can offer a positive outlook when negativity emerges, and she can support their pastors. We here in Gulfport can do the same thing too.
When we are willing to participate in rebuilding rather than simply attending to our own desires, we can rebuild our church - renewing our faith in the process.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to focus on you today and what you would have us do to bring renewed life to your beloved community on earth, in Jesus' name. Amen.