“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4)
The church can be likened to a family house; a place where we can rightfully call home, a place to find forgiveness, redemption and calm, a place to connect with family (the most important people in our lives). As the Psalmist would sing: “I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:1-3).
David asked the prophet, Nathan: “How can I be dwelling in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent?” (2nd Samuel 7:2). In truth, this is how we should feel whenever we see the house of God in a bad shape. We should never be indifferent to the condition of the house of God, lest we face severe consequences as the prophet Haggai warns in today’s first reading:
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:4-6).
As much as the church is a place where God dwells, our bodies are likewise temples of God. If we do not maintain our inner purity and sanctity, this temple that is our body would lie in ruins.
Jesus’ teaching on our identity as lights in the world plays out practically in today’s Gospel passage. When you let your light shine, everyone will hear about you, even your enemies will ask about you. Light can never be hidden. Jesus was so good that his fame spread to Herod who wanted to see him. Be your best in whatever you do, presidents, governors, kings and world rulers would start looking for you.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me how to reverence the church and bless me as I build my inner temple for you. Amen.
Bible Study: Haggai 1:1-8, Psalm 149 and Luke 9:7-9).