Haggai is not a well-known prophet but his words are like fresh spring water bubbling up in a parched paddock. His work is summarised well by Rev’d Peter Walker in today’s commentary on the text in With Love To The World, “he inspired Israel to recognise that a shattered people can rebuild their community.”
I remember how, in my first month of service at Fremantle, WA, we ministered to survivors who had come down from the Christmas Day, 1974, devastation in Darwin from Cyclone Tracy. They believed it was the end of Darwin. Today Darwin is the thriving capital city of the Northern Territory.
More recently, near and far, communities destroyed by wildfire are rebuilding against all odds. No matter how captive we become through depressing circumstances, it seems that, collectively, there is enough of a spark of resilience to start again.
We see glimpses of it in the places of deepest despair – Syria, Manus, Nauru.
Haggai’s strident optimism and hope may still catch us wherever we are.