[An excerpt from chapter one by way of introduction: Haggai, called to be a prophet of Christ Jesus by the will of God after the manner of my grandfather Haggai of a former millennium. To the church of the Baby Boom generation scattered throughout the western world, especially in the United States, chosen by God to spread the meaning and message of his kingdom in all the world.
Haggai-the-first delivered the word of the Lord to that quiescent remnant and called them back to work on God’s house. My grandfather’s message is as important today as it was in his, and so the Holy Spirit compelled me to address my own generation of latent brothers and sisters who have abandoned the work and left God’s house as an unfinished construction site. My assignment is so akin to his that I’ve included excerpts of his original prophecy in tandem with my word from the Lord Jesus.]
Don’t think of my house as a place you visit once a week for inspiration. My house(hold) is you and your friends built together as a loving family in which I can deposit my glory and as a benevolent force to advance my good reign in a confused world. Due to our enemy’s assaults you’ve been on hiatus from building my house and gone to build your own dream homes. But now it’s time to give your dreams back to me so I can insert my dreams back in you.
You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it… You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.” Haggai 1:6, 9
The value of your house and retirement fund is not what you expected. The enthusiasm for life you once had is intermittent at best. You’ve tried to find it in places that it doesn’t exist as a permanent value.
2 Haven’t you noticed that even with all your efforts to do well in this world things have not worked out as you’d hoped? You labor to accumulate and yet your efforts fail to succeed or your success fails to satisfy. Why do you think that is? 3 When everything is easy and comfortable in the temporal you tend to have little passion for the eternal. I have ways of weaning you from your pathetic idols. 4 You’ve had seasons of abundance as well as lack. Sometimes I take away as much as I give in order to remind you that your life is not defined by what you possess or by what you control.
Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? Haggai 2:3
5 What you see me doing in my people today – especially among younger generations – is not the same as what I did or how I did it in “your” day. Does that mean it’s not as good? It’s different, but it’s even better. You’re too glued to what you did for me and how you did it in the past. You’re critical of today’s church and how I’m working in it in my way. 6 You don’t like the music or the preaching or the emphases. When you want the church to serve you, you’re acting childishly. You demand good teaching when you should be doing the teaching yourself by now. You want comfortable buildings in which to sit while you absorb more and more information and spiritual experiences, and never become disciple-makers.
7 I’m looking for ones who’ve earned every strand of grey hair to be willing to forego their own preferences in order to worship and serve side-by-side with these younger disciples of mine. They need you in their lives and churches for stability and wisdom and you need them for their passion and insight. 8 Picture this: They stand on your strong shoulders and from that elevated vantage point they report to you what they see. Your relationship is meant to be symbiotic, both of you benefitting from the other.
9 Many of you, having lost your sense of purpose, are depressed. It was by making a disciple (Elisha) that Elijah broke out of his mid-life crisis. With all of your years under my severe tutelage, you should be discipling and mentoring the generations to follow. 10 There’s no need for them to start from scratch and figure everything out on their own. You have a wealth that they need, and as you give it, your enthusiasm for life will return.
11 You Baby Boomers are the foundation, that’s your place in my house today. Make sure you are set on the coordinates of the Chief Cornerstone – Jesus. And as surely as you rest atop of him be sure others may build upon you. This is your assignment in building my house in this era.
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations…” Haggai 2:6-7
12 My house, when you each play your unique roles within it, will stand in the shaking that’s coming.
“What is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:7
13 Your internal yearning for is me. It’s me that your spirit most desires. I’ve been trying to give myself to you, but you’ve slowly degenerated into settling for something else, something less – much less. Those who desire me above anything else will be elated when I appear, even when my appearance is not what you expect. 14 But those who care more about their opinions, their method, their theology, their preferences of what my household looks like will be in perpetual mourning and stay away.
‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:9
15 It’s not your preferences that were developed in the “former house” that matter, but my “glory.” Remember how you once live for the glory of God and the good of people. I’m planning for my house to be even more replete with my glory than you’ve experienced in the past. 16 Don’t miss what I’m trying to do by sitting in the stands as a fan or standing on the sidelines as a referee. Get on the field and play again. Show the rookies what you know, give them the ball, and block for them so they’ll succeed in their assignment.
17 I, Haggai, write this letter in my own hand – on my own laptop. Grace be with you.
*[Disclaimer: I do not propose the preceding as a new, New Testament book nor as an actual prophecy from God to me to you. The epistle-like approach is merely a literary device I’ve used to say what I believe is in keeping with both biblical teaching – the book of Haggai in particular – and what my Baby Boom generation in general needs to hear.]