“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’ Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’” (Hg 1:2-4).
The prophet Haggai called on the Israelites thousands of years ago to prioritize rebuilding the House of the Lord (The Temple) upon their return to the Holy Land. Just like many American Christians, the Israelites were busy with rebuilding their temporal homes, while ignoring God’s eternal House. It is estimated that Americans spend 42 billion dollars per year to maintain their houses.
As we reflect on the horrible events of Moore, Oklahoma and the many other recent natural disasters, we often hear many of the citizens positively answer the tragedy with the words “We will rebuild!” It is great to hear such a spirited response to calamity.
Sadly, a massive spiritual tornado has wreaked havoc on the American Church, and very few of its citizens are responding in the same way we do to natural disasters. It is time to rebuild!
Unlike the Israelites who had one temple where God’s presence was located, each Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit. So, the rebuilding starts with each of us. We cannot expect the Church or our nation to return to God, if we do not ourselves return to Him by rebuilding our spiritual lives. Revival starts with us, if we will allow God to stir our spirits (Hg 1:14).
The focus for rebuilding our spiritual lives should not only be personal, but communal as well, and then extend out to the entire society. Now we might think that it’s all about us to rebuild our spiritual house, but this Trinitarian model reminds us that “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Ph 2:13).
We will rebuild!
(c) Paul Dordal, 2013