“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? But now be strong …” (Haggai 2.3f)
As the lockdown restrictions are gradually eased and we return bit by bit to the rhythms of congregational life, the return of the exiles from Babylon provides an instructive, parallel narrative.
The return from Babylon was both gradual and difficult: it’s narrated in the two books Ezra and Nehemiah (which were originally one book), and the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah had an integral part to play in the challenges facing the people back then.