The Book of Haggai
Readings: Haggai 1:3-11, 13-14; 2:3-9 and Mark 7:24-30
- Haggai is a short book. Read it in its entirety: Haggai 1-2. The Lord invites his people to “consider” their ways. The word consider appears four times in this short message. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:7 (1:5, 2:15, 18). It is an invitation to think about in order to pay attention to something. As you read the message of Haggai, listen to God’s request to his people to consider their ways in relationship to the work of building God’s house. What thoughts come to mind? What are you hearing?
- God seems to regard an actual building and the process by which people build, maintain and worship him in that building. We inhabit space, land, houses. We worship God in buildings. How do you reconcile the genuineness of a command to rebuild the Temple (a house of worship) with other passages like John 4:21-24, where Jesus tells us that God is Spirit and those who worship him must do so in spirit and truth?
- How might the ruined house of God speak deeper things about the relationship of God’s people to God – in context of God’s renewal of his covenant love (2:5)?
- God’s word elicits a response of action: the people get to work and build the house of God! Their action is paired with a promise of God’s presence with them as they work. What invitations do you sense from God in this message? How might you respond to God and his work on earth? Where do you see the work of God left undone or neglected in your own life or the life of your faith community? Take time now in prayer to consider your life, your everyday ordinary ways. Ask God to guide you into a fuller and active participation of his work on earth.