I have a new favorite podcast for running called “99percentinvisible.” The episodes are about 18 minutes long and are stories about things we never think about, things that are mostly invisible to us. Like the dead letter office. And the clock that guides broadcasts. And fortune cookies.
The stories include some speaking by a reporter and some speaking by experts. It’s well edited, easy to listen to, and thought provoking.
And I started to imagine that kind of story-telling for books of the Bible. Especially the little ones, the offbeat ones, the ones we often ignore.
[READER with an Aramaic accent, which sounds a lot like a Syrian accent] “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah… [FADE]
[NARRATOR 1] Haggai, was a guy.
[NARRATOR 2] That’s it. Just a guy. How he was known to his friends…
[NARRATOR 1] …if he had friends…
[NARRATOR 2] …we don’t know. To his contemporaries, he was “Haggai the prophet.”
[EZRA] He was not an ivory tower prophet, though.
[NARRATOR 1] That’s Ezra the scribe. He wrote about Haggai in his own account.
[EZRA] Haggai delivered God’s messages to Zerubbabel. The messages told him to get back to work on the Temple. After twenty years, it was time. But then Haggai stayed around. He helped with the building.
[NARRATOR 2] No one knows what Haggai did in the rebuilding. Because we don’t know what he did besides being “the prophet”.
[NARRATOR 1] But we know that he listened to God and delivered messages for about a year. And that after the first message, as the work progressed, God was encouraging.
[NARRATOR 2] And they did it. They finished the project.
[EZRA] “And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.”