The Book of Zechariah (1-6)
Readings: Zechariah 1:1-6, 14-17; 4:6-10; 6:9-15 and Mark 7:31-37
Our journey in the Minor Prophets continues with Zechariah. He and Haggai were called upon to help the people of God get the new Temple built. Both prophets voice an invitation to return to first things and priorities, to a revival of focus and commitment to covenant relationship with God as the “center” of life and worship. Zechariah’s visions and message reboot the imagination of God’s people to foster an understanding of our truest and sacred identity in God. His message speaks deeper things then merely to rebuild ruins. Think of how a tribe, a nation, a community experiences themselves when all symbols, marketplaces, centers of worship, homes and homeland lay in ruins! Think of modern day exiles or refugees. As you read, listen to the voice of the prophet. Imagine yourself in Israel’s shoes. Explore what God might be saying to you and your faith community as you read and reflect.
- Our readings span six chapters. Read the segment in its entirety to appreciate the full flavor of the prophet’s message. In chapter 1, there seems to be a centralizing theme emerging of return. What do you hear in the invitation to return to God? Take moments now, wherever you are, whatever your focus, circumstance or current life activity consumes your thoughts and energies and for these moments return to God. As you do, notice what comes to you, how you feel, what you find yourself thinking about and praying.
- One of the most often quoted Scripture verses is Zech. 4:6. As you journey through these passages consider your limitations and need for God’s Spirit to assist you in work and life. Are there things, relationships, endeavors that seem overwhelming, burdensome or just beyond your abilities? Where are you finding yourself taking matters into your own hands? Spend some time in confession. Affirm weakness and limitation. Ask for God’s Spirit to help. Invite God to participate in your life.
- Conclude your time of reading and reflection in Mark 7:31-37. Let the story of Jesus’ miracle healing of the deaf man renew a vision of possibility within the sphere of God’s work on earth. What might you imagine and ask for in your own life? Take moments now to sit with Jesus. Let him touch the impediments in your body and soul, with your family, in your work place. Bring these things and people to God in prayer. Who knows, you might discover that Jesus, when in the mix of things, does indeed do all things well!