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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Revised Common Lectionary

Introduction Haggai 1.15b-2.9
Cyrus published a decree 538 BC that allowed fugitive refugee Jews return to Palestine. Likewise the disparate population was to restore the temple at Jerusalem (Ezra 1.1-4). The new temple was finished spring 515 BC. Zechariah prophesied from 520 BC to 518 BC, who similarly was a contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5.1; 6.14). Their common goal was rebuilding the temple, community purification, and announcement of the messianic age. Haggai and Zechariah link to Ezekiel's earlier prophecy and the mature apocalyptic thought of Daniel chapters 7-12.
This disruption and restoration of the chosen life would find (Nia) purpose in the revelation and renewal of covenant. The leaders of the Judean community received five exhortations during the sixth through the ninth months 520 BC. Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest were encouraged to join in (Umoja) unity that the temple project be successful. The hope in (imani) faith prophecy would bring God's blessing and establish the messianic king from the throne of David.
The new temple was to be as splendid, if not more so than Solomon's. The temple was raised in 'the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God. The peoples collective remembrances whence they came from Egypt with a promise in their assembly cried, I am with you! "My Spirit abides among you, fear not." The prophet Haggai questions: 'Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?
The LORD claims all, in a little while, glory. The LORD of hosts will shake heavens, earth, sea, dry land, and nations so that treasure will come in. Everything and all creation belongs to God Almighty. How do you see it now?
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