In our first time together after twelve weeks of social isolation we, like the Jewish exiles in Babylon, have finally been able to return to the House of God for worship. In the coming weeks and months, if not years, church will be different as the world has forever been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will be challenged to work together as we rebuild how we do things in a post-COVID-19 world.
Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees. …how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a pagan land? Psalm 137:1-2;4
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’ Haggai 1:2
The people procrastinate. They say this isn’t the right time to rebuild my Temple, the Temple of God. Haggai 1:2 (The Message)
Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? Haggai 1: 4
You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! Haggai 1:6
You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins… Haggai 1:9
…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation… For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Then… the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the Lord their God. So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of… the whole remnant of God’s people. They began rebuilding the house of their God. Haggai 1:12;14
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33