Zechariah 2:5-9, 14-15; Luke 9:43-45
The story of Zechariah, at least the first part, is set in the context of the Jews returning from the Babylonian exile and the subsequent rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. In today's reading we find a man who is about to measure Jerusalem in order to have a starting point, I suppose, with which to begin rebuilding. But, before he can begin his measuring, an angel speaks to him, declaring that the Lord already has the plan and vision for the rebuilding.
The gospel also is set in the context of Jesus beginning to foretell the destruction of the temple of his body, and its rebuilding in three days (John 2:19). The Lord certainly has the plan and vision for this destruction and rebuilding that is, as we hear, quite beyond the grasp of the disciples.
So, I think about rebuilding and remodeling, and all of the times that God has had a vision and plan for the rebuilding and remodeling of my life that went beyond my wildest dreams. I can liken it to any rebuilding of a physical space- the comparisons are not so far off. When one is looking over the piles of dust and dry wall and knee-deep debris that are necessarily present during any reconstructive effort, maybe we can relate. Maybe we can hear the gospel being spoken in the midst of the mess we stand in…
I know how it hurts to be torn up. I often choke on the litter left by my own remodeling. I know what it's like to settle into the fear and hopelessness of believing that you are wasted space. I have felt the blows of heavy hammers that nailed me to a sense of uselessness. Some pretty careless workers who came to the task of making me without any real skill or vision have shaped me, at times. I know the pain of wanting to be changed and yet being distrustful of changes, of wanting to be worked on, but being suspicious of the intentions of the worker. But, however messy it is now, however confusing and scary it appears, however endless the task may seem, we will some day be complete and renewed. There is much tearing out to do- a lot to give up. Imperfection must be torn out and corrected, not covered up. Perfection, solidity, art- these take time. But we are not wasted space, we are temples of a Being greater than ourselves, temples being built to be inhabited and brought to life. Though we may not understand the process and plan, our Rebuilder does. We are God's and the place where He lives. Do not despair! We are being made by a Master Carpenter.
A wall of fire that will not burn us, but will protect us and be the glory while the building is going on, also, encircles us. And thankfully, we only have to deliver ourselves into the hands of God in order to be rebuilt.
By Lori Spanbauer