Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘rebuilding Jerusalem’


Haggai 1: Hurrying

Thursday, September 12, 2019

In this brief but important prophecy we hear a vital message; Haggai exhorts us to look to our behaviors to see what we value.  And the prophet asks us to re-build the fallen Jerusalem of our hearts.  From the CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE (1157): “At this critical moment, when defeatism and a certain lethargy had overtaken his repatriated countrymen, Haggai came forward with the exhortations to them to complete their great task . . . The call to rebuild the temple.  The economic distress so apparent in Judah is due to the Jews’ neglect of the Lord while they provide for their own needs”.

And we pause to reflect on this verse 1:9: You expected much, but it came to little; and what you brought home, I blew away.  For what cause? says the Lord of hosts.  Because my house lies in ruins, while each of you hurries to your own house.

This is not a petulant or childish God who sweeps away all that we have gathered around us in retaliation for some slight we may have delivered.  No. This is the call of a God who loves his creatures and who wishes them to rise to the potential gifted to them at their inception. This is not an angry and selfish God who destroys all that does not please him.  No. This is a God who knows that we have become enamored of that which drains us rather than saves us.  These are not the words of a fickle and deceitful lover. No. They are words that encourage, words that animate, words that ask us to focus on what is truly important.

Those who had been deported have returned home to ruins and they know they must come together to rebuild that which has been lost through their own folly.  God calls them to himself and asks them to evaluate what they hurry toward and what they hurry away from.

Do we bustle home each evening to get on with our own agenda without including God in our plans?

Do we scurry out each morning to complete our own list of chores without taking God along?

Do we work harder on our own dreams without considering the common good and the call from God?

We seem to always be in a hurry . . . toward what . . . away from whom . . . in answer to what call?


A re-post from September 5, 2012.

For more thoughts on the prophecy of Haggai visit the Haggai – The Great Task page of this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/the-old-testament/the-prophets/haggai-the-great-task/

For more on setting priorities, prospering in tough economical times and taking the words of the prophet Haggai to heart, click on the image above or go to http://www.barryclingan.org/index.cfm/pageid/584

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1157. Print.   

 

Read Full Post »


Nehemiah 4: Hostile Plots

Sunday, October 15, 2017

We may recognize a familiar pattern in many lives.

Just when we believe our work is moving forward with purpose and success, an obstacle blocks our way to make forward progress impossible.

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews. (NRSV)

Just when our relationships are most fruitful and supportive, a loss brings stress that strains the bonds we have built over so many years and with so much effort and prayer.

But when Sanvalat, Toviyah, the Arabs, the ‘Amonim and the Ashdodim heard that the repairs on the walls of Yerushalayim were going forward, and the breaks were being filled in, they became very angry. (CJB)

Just when our work place is most fulfilling and rewarding, stealthy plotters threaten chaos and destruction.

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall he exploded in anger, vilifying the Jews. In the company of his Samaritan cronies and military he let loose: “What are these miserable Jews doing? Do they think they can get everything back to normal overnight? Make building stones out of make-believe?” (MSG)

Just when our prayer life is fruitful and healing, duplicitous schemers find their way into the heart of all that matters to us.

When Sanballat heard that we Jews had begun rebuilding the wall, he became furious and began to ridicule us. (GNT) 

We may recognize a familiar pattern in many lives, and when we do, there is only one path of return to peace. We best thwart all hostile plots when we place our lives in the hands of God.

When we compare varying versions of how evil plots threaten the new-found order brought out of chaos, we open our hearts and minds to the healing order of the Spirit.

For more information on Sanballat, Nehemiah’s nemesis, visit: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13167-sanballat 

Tomorrow, dealing with oppression.

Read Full Post »


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Daniel 9:13-19

Prayer of Penitence – In the Desert

Eugene Alexis Girardet: Prayer in the Desert

Eugene Alexis Girardet: Prayer in the Desert

In today’s Noontime we ponder Daniels’s famous penitential prayer on behalf of the community.  As we near Ash Wednesday, we might prepare ourselves for our Lenten journey by reading three other passages along with today’s from Daniel. Ezra 9:6-15 and Nehemiah 1:5-11 and 9:6-37.  In this story, both priest and administrator rebuild the Jerusalem temple after Cyrus allows the Jewish people to return from exile.  They have been told that their exile will last not 70 weeks or 70 years as was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah.  No, they receive word that their captivity will end in seven times seventy or in 490 years.  This is gloomy news until we begin to understand that this is precisely the amount of time until the arrival of Jesus.

The HARPER COLLINS COMMENTARY tells us that this prayer we read today is not seen so much as a petition from the people which God obeys but rather as an appropriate act of piety from a people who have erred and disobeyed.  It is for this reason that it is best to find others who will pray this together with us as an admission of our collective willfulness, waywardness and disobedience. (Mays 631)

And let us pray Daniel’s prayer much as the Jewish community prayed with Ezra and Nehemiah when they returned to their ruined city.

woman-kneeling[1]God of Heaven, God of Earth, Spirit Dwelling Among Us,

Guide us . . . and grant us the faith to follow,

Be glad in us . . . and grant us the hope to rejoice in you,

Love us . . . and grant us the grace to grow in you.

We wish to turn . . . we wish to return to you.

For you are the beginning, the end, the all.

We are your servants.

May we serve you well.

Amen. 

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 631. Print.

Adapted from a reflection written on February 17, 2008.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: