Today’s reading from the Book of Ezra features the laying of the cornerstone for the Second Temple.
The people’s joy and shouting is tempered by weeping as some of the older exiles remember the beauty of the First Temple. Those days are gone now, even though there is promise for the future.
That feeling reminds me of a poem I wrote on retreat many years ago about building a spiritual home.
Matthew 7:7 (Commentary)
Asking is not enough,
We must diligently seek
Read the blueprint
Lay the first stone
On stone and stone
Plan becomes a home
I must lay my heart
firmly in place
Daily build the home I seek
Mepkin Abbey + July 1998
What animated Ezra and the returning exiles was a vision of restoration — a new Temple rising in the place of the old. Similarly, our Christian hope looks toward a new Jerusalem, the City of God which needs no Temple.
Getting there — arriving at home — will involve loss and rebuilding, weeping and joy, celebration and hard work.
A Collect for Fridays
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.