We spent another day with my brother and his wife today. We started the day by attending morning services at their church. It’s a huge church, with a full choir and orchestra. We sang some songs which I hadn’t sung since I lived in Texas about 15 years ago. But I still remembered the words! Their pastor has been going through a series on the minor prophet books of the Old Testament. He preached from Haggai today and I was very excited about that, since I’ve never heard anyone preach out of that book. Any sermon out of the Old Testament is a source of joy for me. I love those books. The book of Haggai was written when the Jews had returned to their land after the Babylonian exile. They had started to rebuild the temple, but stopped and hadn’t completed the work. The Lord spoke to the prophets to remind the people of the importance of making God at home in their midst. My favorite passage is out of chapter 2.
“For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty…‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
This is a great passage for Christmas because it speaks of the promised coming of the Messiah, the desire of nations. God promises that this coming manifestation of His glory, In the person of Jesus, would be even greater than the temples the Jews had built. God himself would be coming with “peace and goodwill toward all men.”
Later in the day we went out for dinner and then drove around looking at Christmas lights. This has long been a favorite Christmas activity for my family. It was a wonderful day.
Blessings to you,