This is our first experience of reading from the prophet Haggai. Haggai was about five hundred years before Christ. The Israelite people had been captured and imprisoned by the Babylonians. Now the Persians have captured Babylon and Kind Darius is in charge.
He wants to see the Israelites return and build up Jerusalem and the temple again. This is a new beginning for the Israelite people, both for the temple and spiritually. They need a new beginning with God. They have not worshipped in the temple for decades. They cannot worship where the temple is because it has not been rebuilt. If you had to look at the pile of rubble that they saw before them, you would probably be just as depressed and discouraged. Haggai’s words are words of encouragement. They are positive, an attitude of with God’s help everything is possible. Focusing on God’s help allows the Israelites to begin the process of trusting God.
You have heard the phrase: Every day is a new day. Or: God’s graces are new every day. What encouragement do you need to move forward today? Many people will find the encouragement with just reading the verses from Haggai today. Others may need to call a trusted friend. Encouragement can come from many places. It is a virtue that builds upon itself. If you take the time to offer a word of encouragement to someone, they will also encourage others. It is like a prayer. You start it and others will pass it on. Let’s all give it a try today.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen