Take Courage, Have Hope, and Trust God

In a sermon a couple of weeks ago, I used the image of an earthquake as a metaphor for the time in which we are living. All of the cultural changes we are experiencing along with the light speed advancement of technology has left us on ground that is shifting under us. We try to hold onto something that will help us keep our footing; and yet even those once trusted foundations are shaking as the ground rises and falls under everything. In this circumstance, it certainly is easy to feel unsteady in the present, fearful of the future, and nostalgic for a time before the foundations shifted.

The returning Israelite exiles from Babylon faced a similar situation. The nation and homeland they left 50 years previously did not resemble the desolate land they returned to. The temple was destroyed, the land barely able to grow crops, and those who had been left behind did not welcome them. As the returning exiles began to rebuild the temple, they realized that it would never be as magnificent as the former temple. Their uncertain future and unstable present made them long for the past glories of Israel.

The prophet Haggai pointed out that the magnificent temple that they reminisced about was now a crumbled building. The past could not be rebuilt, but the future was in the hands of their God who was not done with them. God would make something greater than just a former building of old. Through the words of Haggai, God encouraged them to take courage and do not fear for God’s spirit abides among them. God was not done with them or the advancement of the Kingdom. In fact God will do even greater things with them and through them.

This is a good word for us as well. Even in the midst of shifting foundations, God’s Spirit is with us. We do not need to fear the present or the future, because God is still active. God is not done with the church in general, our church in particular, and us as individuals. God has great plans for us even in the midst of the cultural and technological quakes we are living through. In the words written by Haggai, may we Take Courage, Have Hope, and Trust that God is not finished!

I encourage you to pray daily for God’s presence to be made manifest in your life and in the life of our congregation as we place our trust in the work of Christ in our midst.

Grace and peace.
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee