Most of us don’t read Zechariah.
We are to be forgiven.
It’s the next to the last book of the Old Testament. It’s got pictures of horses thundering across the earth and horns being smashed and stones with seven eyes and women with wings. It’s got warnings and destruction.
If it were a movie, it would be apocalyptic, it might involve Bruce Willis. Many people would go see it. Or at least buy the DVD. As a part of the Bible which is supposed to make sense and teach us rules for living, it feels chaotic.
But Zechariah is the explanation for a couple sentences in the book of Ezra.
Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
The construction project had been on hold for 20 years. So what was it that Zechariah said that got construction working?
It started with a simple message in Zechariah 4:
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.”
Zerubbabel was a Jewish leader, born in Babylon, leading people back to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile. His dream had been to rebuild the temple of God, destroyed decades before. But he ran into resistance. He got stuck. Until this word from God.
But there is a next sentence: Who dares despise the day of small things?
Temples get rebuilt one stone at a time, one chisel smoothing one rough spot at a time.
Temples, whether of stone or of lives, get built with small steps, small choices, small acts of commitment and creativity and love.
Don’t mock the small things.
First published October 2015.