Today's Thought if from Kathleen.
“I will shake all nations and the treasures of all nations will be brought to this temple... The future glory of this temple will be greater than its past glory.” (Haggai 2:7)
During these recent months the compelling focus has perhaps centered on “the shaking of all nations...” while the future glory of the church has seemed remote. But the Lord Jesus committed Himself to building His church with living stones into an unshakeable kingdom.
“Since we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakeable let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe”. (Hebrews 12:28 )
The purpose of the shaking is clear. Hebrews 2:27 “So that what remains cannot be shaken”: that is the unshakeable Grace, the unfailing Love, the eternal Faithfulness of the Lord Jesus towards His Church. These are of the everlasting age. They are undiminished and remain unchangeable. This is the Good News of the gospel which Paul speaks of in Colossians 1:6 “This same good news that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives”.
Meantime an invisible virus has also gone out all over the world and is also changing lives. The expectancy of a return to “normality” has evaporated like an early morning mist. We don’t readily see what God is doing. We do see old comfortable routines, social interaction and freedoms previously taken for granted, withdrawn. The economy, public institutions and family units have been shaken to the core. The new is strange and unembraceable. We long for the old ways. Yet Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that “…there is nothing new under the sun”.
In Luke 5:33-39 Jesus told a parable...new wine must be stored in new wine skins but no one who drinks the old wants the new - “The old is just fine” they say. Clearly though the “new” is not fine. It has negatively impacted all of us. Grief, loss, anxiety and fear abound. That has to be acknowledged. Yet God’s promises of an abundant life and mercies which are new every morning are not under the restrictions of a secular government. Yearning for life as it was is a real issue and can affect our ability to discover new mercies.
How readily we can judge those who clung to the old and not realise how easily we also become attached to the well-trodden familiar paths. Subsequently, anticipation and expectation can become marred by disappointment and frustration that this is not what we want it to be. A verse from Mr. Black’s hymn comes to mind:
“Come Holy Spirit we await You, Come in all Your Sovereign power,
This is the day The Lord has chosen. This is the day and this the hour.”
This is the day. This is the hour. Not waiting till a more agreeable time but looking for and expecting to find new mercies as we come together: living stones being built into an unshakeable kingdom.
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.