Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 31; Evening, Psalm 35;
Haggai 1:1 to 15; Revelation 2:18 to 29; Matthew 23:27 to 39:
(Edited and republished from December 13, 2019)
“Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, saying, I am with you, says the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.” (Haggai 1:13 and 14)
Today it still takes the Spirit of God to work in people in order that they might honor their houses of worship. All places of human assembly require due vigilance in order that they are properly maintained. The Church is the sure sign of how important God is in the lives of the community.
I have read stories where people in some neighborhoods will occasionally help out with various projects in and around a Church even when they themselves do not attend it. Often it is because they recognize the need for the food pantries or social events that lift the self esteem of people and they want to be a part of it.
This care for houses of worship is God’s doing. And “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders’ labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). We are moved then by the hand of God to support the efforts of those who want to respect and honor God. This power of God is not concerned with denomination or a particular faith. It is concerned with people admitting that God exist and that God is good, (All the time).
King Darius was not of the Hebrew people, he was Persian. But he went to great lengths to ensure the house of God was properly rebuilt. So too, in all of our neighborhoods, any of us can, and should, support godly works as we recognize them to be such. None of us can claim God for ourselves only. God only is God and loves ALL people. As long as the faith tradition is not hostile or preaching hate but rather doing good works in the community, we should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us in terms of what they might need. And then do it as we are able.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John