Monday, December 17, 2018

Returning Home

Daily reading: Ezra 1:1-4, 3:1-4, 10-13
Monday December 17, 2018

Focus passage: Persia’s King Cyrus says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth.  He has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem in Judah.  If there are any of you who are from his people, may their God be with them!  They may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem.’ Ezra 1:2-3

What was the high point of your day?  What was the low point of your day?

Cyrus conquered the Babylonians in 539 BCE and allowed those captured under the Babylonians to return home.  He created a new political reality for the Ancient Near East. He is noteworthy because of his immense compassion toward those he ruled, his respect and tolerance he showed to those who had a different faith than his own.  He helped to rebuild the temples of his conquered subjects and encouraged communities to worship freely.

This event is so significant in Jewish memory for it signaled the rebuilding of the temple and the returning home. Returning home can bring about a mixture of emotions.  Take time today to reflect on how God is present in the moments when you find yourself returning home.

Prayer: Gracious God thank you.  Thank you for this day of life, thank that you have allowed us to wake up and draw a breath today.  We pray that you will grant us the wisdom and the boldness to live this day with courage and with commitment to the new world that you are at work bringing about in our very midst.  Give us Advent hearts; give us Advent hope, peace and joy.  Amen

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