It is New Year’s Eve, and I am ready for all my Christmas Decorations to come down. I love the greenery and the lights, and especially the crèche. But the clutter. The dust. I am ready for a clean house. I asked my sons to carry up the Christmas boxes from the basement with the intention of refilling them with the over-enjoyed decor. With the boxes now lying in ready, I can almost smell the crisp-clean air of a newly de-Christmas-treed, un-greeneried, freshly vacuumed house. I am ready for it.
The book of Haggai warns me not to dwell on the festive holiday adornment nor the glorious lack of holiday adornment. The house I must dwell on is Jesus. He is the temple that should draw my gaze. He is where my satisfaction must lie. He deserves my first attentions.
When Persian ruler Cyrus the Great allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity, they went straight to work putting their own houses in order while the their temple, badly in need of repair, was all but ignored. The Israelites had misplaced priorities, and God used the prophet Haggai to remind them of this.
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.”
I pray that 2015 will be a time to busy ourselves with God and not with things that don’t eternally matter.
Lord, help me to always make You my Priority over the things of this world, especially my house and my stuff. Tidy homes and ordered lives can wait. Jesus comes first.
Happy New Year!