As we enter the second week of Advent 2020, so we begin to think about the message of the prophets found in the Hebrew (Old Testament) scriptures. Haggai was one of those prophets who is a bit of a stirrer as he metaphorically gets out his prophetic wooden spoon and challenges the nation to rebuild their faith in the face of opposition and apathy. He is not only concerned with the re-build of the great Temple in Jerusalem, but the building of people’s heart for God, who longs to dwell once more among the faithful.
“And I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendour, says the Lord of hosts.”
Four times Haggai presents God’s message to the people, but they don’t seem to be listening; perhaps they have their priorities wrong, or their sights set on other more worldly things, rather than the things of God. But the prophet persists with God’s message for them, and today with three weeks or preparation left this Advent, we too have a message from the Lord, that he is coming again. But will he find our priorities, our hearts are ordered in the right way?
Take time to think this Advent about your own priorities in life. Do you make time for Jesus, for prayer, for study of God’s word to us, the bible? When you make decisions, do you consider your faith as part of that process? The prophet Haggai may have been speaking of the re-build of Solomon’s great Temple, but no doubt God’s message is also direct at people’s lives and priorities, that which really matters, not buildings but faith.
And if you are finding this challenging, then don’t panic. It takes time to change our priorities and re-order our hearts to make the room needed for God’s dwelling presence which transforms lives. You have three more weeks to pray, “come Lord Jesus into my heart, my life.” And I promise this, that like the great prophets, when we hear the call of God upon our lives and give ourselves to Jesus, the transformation is just incredible. It simply takes our willingness to have a go, to trust the Lord of life who loves us.
Lord Jesus, think on me, and purge away my sin;
from earth-born passions set me free and make me pure within.
Lord Jesus, think on me, with care and woe oppressed,
let me Thy loving servant be and taste Thy promised rest.
Lord Jesus, think on me, nor let me go astray;
through darkness and perplexity, point Thou the heav’nly way.
Lord Jesus, think on me, that, when the flood is past,
I may eternal brightness see and share Thy joy at last.
Lord of transformation, we thank you for your prophets who brought your message of hope and salvation to your people. Help us to day to look for the signs of your kingdom and to open our hearts to the new life you long to pour into our lives. Amen.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!