Thursday, January 09, 2014
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy - Ezra 3:12
Maybe its because I turned 50 this year but reading this passage I am seeing my self more as one of the old priests that the new generation of builders in this account of the building of a new temple.
Our temptation as we age is to live more and more in the past instead of dreaming of the future.
It may be a little harsh but it would seem that some of these old stagers lost out on the miracle and joy of what was happening right before their eyes because the past was in their eyes better.
For them it had become about the glory of a building instead of the glory of God at work in the lives of people.
Yes the cobbled together small foundation of this new temple was pitiful compared to the majesty and splendour of the old temple.
But they we missing the great sacrifice that every person was making to see this exiled nation reborn. They had travelled back to a landscape torn apart from war, a city that was completely destroyed, they had given, sacrificed and given again to see this scrap of ground cleared of rubble and slowly converted into a building plot. Some of them had stopped work on their own houses to see this new temple built first. Whole families worked together. What was happening in that community was nothing short of miraculous and they allowed themselves to be robbed of its joy.
I want to always be celebrating in the now instead of romanticising about the past. I treasure the rich memories of my past but I want to have the joy of a father who sees his sons and daughters serve God in their own unique way today.