Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the final countdown

As I've wholeheartedly joined with vast swaths of Americans swinging wildly day by day through the Political News Cycle--obsessing over Daily Tracking Polls, watching as stories rise and fall in importance, reading pundits who despair and then rejoice, despair and then rejoice depending on what's happening at that particular moment--I've noticed every day a greater and greater sense of frantic impoverishment. Not in myself, of course, but, as it were, in other people. Imagine! A whole society of people operating from that deep well of loss, anxiety, possible bitterness, worry....oh wait, I've just described every human society. 

So anyway, this is what popped up in my Daily Scripture Moment (because I, at least, read a few verses of Holy Scripture before settling myself down comfortably in the mire of The Huffington Post, Drudge, Hot Air, The New Republic, Ace of Spades, The Daily Kos, The National Review, bla bla bla),
Haggai One

4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
God is enormously irritated because He's just delivered Judah out of Exile and brought them back to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. And its not as if this sort of regularly happened in the Ancient World. You wouldn't normally have been taken into exile and let to grow into an even stronger flock and then sent back to your Home with a lot of gold and helpful letters telling everyone to lay off and let you rebuild. It was the work of God and everyone on every side recognized his Providential and Mighty Hand. So when Judah got home and re-paneled their houses but at the First Sign of Discouragement slacked off not just fancying up but building at all the House of the Lord, He was understandably ready to smite them all again. But he didn't have to smite them because the natural result of neglecting God is poverty of spirit and person.

So we only have twelve or thirteen days left until this madness can be put to rest for another three months until It All Starts Again, but perhaps the coming days could be characterized by God's care and providence, rather than foolishness and insanity. Or whatever.

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