It’s such a short book about a prophet calling the people to rebuild the temple and reconsecrate the people of Israel.

People say it isn’t time to rebuild, but you seem to be quite comfortable in your house, why can’t you rebuild mine? You know nothing is going to grow well until you do, right?

And quick reminder, just as there are priests that are to be holy and serve the nation, the entire nation is actually supposed to be holy and serve the world. You can’t make things of the world holy just by association. Those things are actually going to make you ‘unclean,’ you know?

Don’t worship their gods. Don’t marry anyone who worships other gods. Okay? Don’t mingle your business; don’t muddy your allegiance with political treaties. All those things past generations have done.

I’ll be honest. I’m glad we don’t have to worry about ritual purity anymore. My spirit is consecrated to God. His Spirit dwells with me and makes me holy. Because I love him, I submit my life to his will, but I don’t have to submit to the Mosaic law.

Still, I think I’d rather follow the law than cross the God of Moses, the God of Abraham and Isaac. To be faithful. To be pure. It can feel like a sacrifice at times, but we can’t trust our desires. My 8 year old frequently wants to sulk, to give in to the disappointment or frustration of the moment and just wail or bury himself in his bed. This is what he wants. Teaching him to choose contentment, to accept the negative emotions and direct his focus elsewhere, is not easy, but I will continue to guide him toward peace. How often must our choices look as misguided to God? And how patiently he guides us back toward peace. We just have to listen.

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