“‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9)
Haggai’s job as a prophet was to get the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem to build the temple. At first, he dealt with their apathy. Once they overcame that and got started on rebuilding, Haggai had to deal with their discouragement. Why? Because apparently the older people, who remembered how amazing the first temple was before it was destroyed, talked about it – a lot – as the younger workers worked. There’s nothing quite so discouraging as thinking that what you’re working so hard for is just going to be lame no matter what.
Haggai’s message from the Lord was that the people needed to be strong. Isn’t that interesting? You need strength to persevere in spite of people telling you about how the “glory days” were better. What was God’s message to the workers? That the glory of Temple #2 was going to be greater than the glory of Temple #1. We can look ahead and see that Temple #2 was good enough for Joseph and Mary to take baby Jesus to for His circumcision when He was 8 days old. And it was good enough for 12-year-old Jesus to spend time in talking with the elders when His parents accidentally left Him behind. Temple #2 was the site of much of Jesus’ ministry and teaching. Jesus brought incredible glory and peace! The Ephesians passage for today shows how the message of glory and peace is amplified further by seeing believers in Christ as a spiritual temple with Christ as the cornerstone.
As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I want to be very conscious not to discourage younger Christians by talking about how great things used to be, whether that’s in music, fashion, politics, communication, whatever. Let’s not discourage people—let’s all build God’s Kingdom.
- Jesus Christ is described as the cornerstone of the holy temple made up of all God’s people. How does thinking of Jesus as our cornerstone help you in your relationships with other believers?
- How can you encourage one of God’s Kingdom builders this week, especially someone who is doing things differently from how you would do them?
written by Ruth Carver