November 6, Ordinary 32C (Haggai 1:15b-2:9)
My church is located in the first municipality in the country with a public reparations fund.
The prophet Haggai has no patience for nostalgia. The people long for a previous temple, “this house in its former glory.” The elders, maybe even Haggai himself, recall the complexity of what the previous version really was—but the people remember it as better than that, as people will.
God lets them dwell there for a hot second, with perhaps a little sepia tone, and then tells the people to take courage: better things are coming. God is with them, just as God was with them coming out of Egypt. Do not fear.
I long for the past when it comes to some things. Guns, for instance. I wish that angry, isolated people—mostly young, White, and male—didn’t have access to them. Unswirling the jam from the oatmeal on that one is going to be hard, but we can do it. We’ve got to. I was on a call just recently when we had to pause because a 13-year-old had been shot a block away while playing in her backyard.