Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
student drawing of the relationship between two objects, from the Right Relations workshop, January 2020
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.
— Zechariah 1:3
The people turned away, and God banished them to Babylon for seventy years. The remnant returning home want to know if they are forgiven; they wonder how God feels about them now, hoping that further punishment is not forthcoming, but feeling unsure of their place in God's heart. Zechariah reminds the people that this is not a one way street. To rebuild a relationship requires effort. It must be active, not passive. Simply waiting for the other party to forgive is not enough. If it comes at all it will be fragile, and without integrity. To rebuild relationship requires an active turning towards, followed by actions which clearly indicate a change of heart and behaviour. Turn ye unto me...and I will turn unto you says God. It is very simple, yet somehow very difficult to do.
Rebuilding a broken relationship requires us to start from a place of humility, certainly not from a place of entitlement. We are owed nothing, either from God or any fellow human. All that we have in the way of friendship and relationship is what we ourselves have taken time to make. It is easy to forget that, to take our friends for granted, to take God for granted, assuming He will always be there for us because once we dedicated ourselves to Him. As friendship requires nurture, so indeed does worship. To receive God's love is a gift, and it comes most to those who work hard at giving it away.1 Turning towards God, as so much of the Bible reminds us, is to turn towards our fellows, to love and care for those less fortunate than ourselves, to build community, to share what we have, to take joy in the joy of another.
1 The phrase "we can only keep what we have by giving it away" is from the Narcotics Anonymous Who, What, How, and Why reading.