I hope the weekend was a good one for you. When the people of Judah returned from exile in Babylon they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. In this passage we see the people celebrating and praising God for the blessing of bringing them home and allowing them to rebuild the temple. At the same time, we also see the older members of the community weeping because the new temple wasn't the temple they remembered. This moment speaks volumes to the church today. Many of the younger members of the church rejoice at the new things God is doing in our community: deepening spirituality that's evident in our prayer vigils, strong growth and new members in our Bible study, and some new energy for New Beginnings. At the same time, many of us remember the "good old days" when there were more people in the church and life seemed simpler.
The truth is there is much to rejoice over and much to lament. What is lost is gone: the 1960's are not coming back. But God is doing something exciting at Laurelton and beyond. Jesus promises that even the gates of hell won't defeat the church, so we can trust the future to God's hands. We who are excited about the future need to remember that many are also mourning the past; we who mourn the past can also look to the future with hope because God is in charge: "His love endures forever!"