“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the LORD with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.’ And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.” Ezra 3:10-13
When the present leaders attempt to replicate the “good ole days” (the past) to guide the church into the future what is the response? The old had been destroyed, torn down, burned down, blown down, it doesn’t matter how, the old needs replacing. When the process begins, a new foundation is laid – what is the response? How do I/you respond? In today’s scripture old and young alike join together to worship – they give thanks and sing responsively. Some wept, some shouted for joy. Where are you in the congregation? Which are you? Do you shout for joy? Weep with joy? Or, do you weep because it’s not like it used to be, it’s not going to be a s big as it was, it’s not going to be as good as it was; the music isn’t the same…… etc. etc. Do I/you welcome the future or refuse to enter into the present to journey into the future. It is always good to remember the past, to stand on the foundation so solidly built by those who preceded us; but it is best to rely on God’s promises for the future. Over-the-Horizon Promises that stand the test of time – based on the most solid foundation, God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); do we embrace or deny the possibilities within the promise? Shout for joy – giving thanks and praising God or grumble by weeping it’s not good enough? Our response lays a future foundation for those who follow – o that we lead them into God’s best, not restrain them to the good past.