Reflections: Just as promised, after 70 years’ exile, God brings his people home. He moves the hearts of pagan kings to rebuild his temple, city and kingdom. But this beginning is bittersweet. The temple foundations may be laid but it’s a pale imitation of its former glory (Hag 2:3). And sure, God’s people are back in his land but they’re still ruled by a Persian king. Where is the Davidic king that God had promised? Where is the new covenant Jeremiah had declared? This may be the first step in fulfilling Jeremiah 29:11 but there’s still a long road ahead. That mix of weeping and joy marks our Christian life: weeping at our sin and joy at our salvation in Jesus. In that bittersweet reality, we wait for the day when God will wipe away every tear (Rev 21:4).
Question: In what ways is your life a mix of weeping at sin and joy in salvation? How do you persevere as you await the comfort and return of Christ?
Prayer: Loving Father, we are conscious of our rebellion and our sin is always before us. Create in us clean hearts and renew steadfast spirits within us. As we live with the constant presence of indwelling sin, restore the joy of your salvation through Christ our Lord. Amen.