Thursday, 17 December 2015

Grand gestures

Ezra 5:1-5
Restoration of the Temple Resumed
Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak set out to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, helping them.
At the same time Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus, “Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?” They also asked them this, “What are the names of the men who are building this building?” But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until a report reached Darius and then answer was returned by letter in reply to it.

Isn't it the way
that those who seek to do right
come under scrutiny?
Their motives questioned
their authority usurped,
hurdles at every turn.
The temple will be built
but at what cost
and to what purpose.
Honouring God
needs not the ostentatious 
or grand gesture,
but the humble spirit
of reverence and awe
lived out in love.

God you ask not for amazing feats of architecture or vulgar displays to wealth but for humility and sincerity in our worship accompanied by generosity in our living. This Advent, help us to see the treasure you have planted deep within each of us.

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