‘The happy/sad day for God’s people’ (Ezra 3:8-13)

After God’s people returned from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem, Ezra 3:8-13 tells of the day that the people got to work and laid the foundations of the second temple. The work was hard and involved many who contributed their skills, and the end result was that the people achieved what they had set out to do. A stranger to Jerusalem that day might have been surprised by the very loud sounds of joy and crying coming from the Temple site. Joy, because progress had been made and the Temple work had begun. Crying, because those who knew the glory of the first Temple could only remember ‘what once was’. There is always a danger that God’s people look back with longing to the past, but God is at work today and calls us to be ‘His living stones’ of a different kind of temple, made up of all who believe in Jesus.