Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:4-9
‘Shaken, stirred but not abandoned’
Matthew Henry’s commentary on this passage says this: ‘The shaking of the nations is often in order to the settling of the church and the establishing of the things that cannot be shaken.
I would guess that most of us would agree that the church is definitely being ‘shaken’ at the moment, and by a whole host of things that seem to be of our own making.
From time to time God needs to remind us a little bit about himself, about who he is and what he has done. Every now and then we get distracted, confused and shunted off course, and so God has to bring us back. I believe that we are in a time of being ‘shaken’ and ‘shunted’, a time where we have lost our way as the church.
There is a group of young people I am working with at the moment that give me hope, they are the same group of people that I have probably mentioned before. The reason that I have probably mentioned them before is because they are still around, they are still encouraging me, they are still astounding me with their faith and passion and they are still reminding me that God has a plan. The passage speaks about a house in the past and a house in the present, the present house will be even greater and will be filled with the glory of God. I firmly believe that the church needs to take encouragement from where it has been, I mean most of us wouldn’t be here were it not for a faithful bunch of Christians willing to look out for us and share Jesus. But also we need to look forward, the church cannot stay the way it is, too many things are distracting us from our core message. The shop front’ of the church does not give a clear image of what is going on inside the store. This current generation know the world well, they know what their peers need, how they think and what paths need to be laid to point them to Jesus. Maybe we need to take a step back and allow them the space to thrive and maybe in turn they will do something which will once again ‘fill our houses with the glory of God’.
We are told not to fear, we are told that God is with us, we are told to work, we are told that God WILL fill this house with glory and we are told that in that place he will grant peace.
The church of the present and the future needs to relevant to this current generation but it also needs to be open to this generation doing things a little differently. We have the same God, the same Jesus and the same path to salvation but the way of doing things might need to be ‘shaken’ once in a while.
But take heart, from everything I have seen from the small group of young people that I work with, the church is in safe hands. These young people are prayerful, passionate, willing to stand and fight for what they believe, willing to be known as followers of Jesus and they are exciting. They are exciting to watch, to work with and to witness in action.
My prayer is that the267project and the church will recognise the importance of this generation more and more and be humbly willing to pray, encourage, give opportunity and where necessary step aside and praise God.