As the Word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai, The Jews were finally returning from exile. Disobedience to God’s Word and wrongful worship of false gods brought down upon them God’s wrath. Having returned from exile, the Jews focused attention to reestablishing the comfort of their homes while neglecting God’s temple which still lay in ruins.
God sent his prophet to point out the people’s selfish ways and inward focus, reminding them of his displeasure with their prior disobedience. Surely God would not prosper their homes as the house of God lay in ruins. And so, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month during the reign of Darius, the people worked on the house of God.
Soon, Easter will be upon us. It is our disobedience to God’s Word which led Jesus to the cross, reconciling God and man and restoring from death to life those who believe. Yet, as this most holy day approaches, the world continues to be caught up in activities which displease the Lord. And so, God speaks through the prophetic voice of the Church, calling to repentance those who wander.
From Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, Lenten worship prepares Christians for living a life in Christ. Prayer, daily reading of scripture, weekly worship and celebration of the Sacrament of the Altar causes faith to grow and deepens our relationship with God and one another. Attention is turned toward our need for God’s mercy and a desire to turn away from behaviors that lead. During the season of Lent, faithful practice builds up the house of God.
Turn our hearts toward you, O God, that we may work to build up your house of prayer. Amen.