Haggai 1:1-2:23; Revelation 11:1-19; Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 30:15-16
Not unlike many cities in the U.S. and across Europe, St. Louis has its share of empty churches–grand structures that once held many worshipers. Those who remember the “glory days” of full churches and faithful family worship wonder, “can they ever be full again?”
God’s people during the time of the prophet Haggai wondered the same about the temple–would it ever be the same? Babylonians had destroyed this place of worship and now it was rubble.
God gave them his Word, “Be strong…be strong all you people of the land,” declares the Lord of hosts…”My spirit remains in your midst. Fear not…the latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former…And in this place I will give peace,” declares the Lord. Haggai 2:4-9
With God’s help, the people rebuilt the temple. God kept his promise.
To us He has kept His promise as well. He sent His Son whose presence filled the temple then, and fills us–his temples–now, through faith.
Though we may get discouraged by the assaults on the Church and Christianity, God tells us to be strong. The culture may try to tear down and destroy the Church, but Jesus assures us that He has overcome the world. Fear not!
Lord, we sometimes long for the ‘glory days’ when churches were always full on Sunday morning and the outward assaults from the culture were few. Lord, do you ever long for the ‘glory days’ before man’s fall into sin? When your creation was perfect and everyone and everything lived in harmony? Thank you for not giving up on us; for not being stuck in glory day remembrances.
Lord, grant us courage and strength to continue living in the hope within us–that you are coming again; that you are preparing a peaceful, perfect place for us who believe in Jesus. Forgive us when we get stuck in the past or despair about the present. Help us to keep our eyes on you and continue to “work” sharing the good news of the Gospel. For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.