Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,
while this house lies in ruins?
During this week, we have been hearing about the desire to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem after the people returned from exile. The Persian Empire with its kings Cyrus and Darius, was favorable to encouraging and even funding some of the building of the temple. But in today’s first reading, we hear that the people are less excited to do that than the pagan kings of the Persian Empire!
The prophet Haggai takes them to task for being comfortable in their own houses and rebuilding their own lives and saying “It’s not time to rebuild the Temple.” This sentiment shows the underlying spiritual malaise of the people. Now that they are out of exile and things are good, they don’t really need God for anything right now and are not giving him his due.
Would that that kind of thing was limited to the people of Haggai’s time. But we know it’s not. We know how quickly we turn to God in times of trouble, but when things are going well, we ignore our spiritual lives and don’t give God much thought.
If we are to be true disciples, we have to be in relationship with God, in bad times and in good. We need to constantly rebuild his house, to make that home for him in our hearts, to live with him in our homes and proclaim him in our community by the way we live our lives.
Friends, it’s always time to rebuild God’s house.