“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”Haggai 1:4
A few years ago, my Sunday school teacher suggested that the Old Testament book of Haggai ought to be required reading during Advent. Now there’s a rarely-read book of the Bible! But since the “holiday season” has become so much about pursuing material things, the words of the prophet Haggai are perfect to meditate on. He urged the people to stop and think about where their priorities lie.
He pointed out how they had pursued building and caring for their own houses while they allowed God’s house to be in complete disrepair. Remarkably, the people responded to the prophet’s scolding by immediately setting to the work of re-building God’s temple.
Perhaps it is time to put aside our selfish thoughts and prepare “God’s house.” Did you know that your own heart is God’s dwelling place? Christmas is all about Jesus, not about the decorations you display, the parties you throw, or the gifts you give and receive. It’s about His Word, His love and His giving. Love came down to dwell among us; prepare and make room for Him!
“Christmas: the Son of God expressing the love of God to save us from the wrath of God so we could enjoy the presence of God.” (John Piper)