“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 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 does so to put them into a bag with holes. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
“And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God. ‘Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you… My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. In a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” Haggai 1:4-9,14; 2:4-7,9
The winter midnight blue blushes red before dawn, bare tree silhouettes line the horizon like soft hair. The full moon lies hanging in the west, as though pulling its celestial companion up before it sets. There is nothing like a cold December sky at break of day. It takes getting out of my cocoon to behold the glory God swaths across His world, and I am always the better for it. My heart shifts, affections lift, vision clears. Life is about so much more than my cozy, my tangible and intangible ‘paneled house.’
In a season of holidazed frenzy, pine-scented hurry, wish lists dangling like sparkly ornaments, am I considering my ways? There will be no satisfaction if my worship house is in ruins. Much material comes to little, but little comes to much when the Spirit moves and I fix my treasure in my Lord.
Will I commit to adjusting my thoughts today? To shifting gears from high speed to contemplation of the manger, the wonder that God would ‘tabernacle,’ make His home, among us? What materials will I bring– hours, attention, effort– to make much of my Lord? What needs to be moved in my schedule, in my wants, on my tongue, for me to build for Him today, and show forth His glory? (Ezekiel 37:27)
Good Spirit, stir me, shift me as needed. Shake down Your glory on my doing so that others behold and love You, and know Your peace.