"I will shake the nations," said the prophet Haggai, "and the treasures and precious things of the nations shall flow into my house..." I had a friend in grade school whose name was Artie. We had a lot of fun together, sometimes too much fun. One time some other friends of mine and I bullied him and his father was angry about it, which prompted me to cry out as he drove away, "I'm sorry, sir!" My other bullying friends mocked me for that. We did a lot of laughing together, Artie and I, sometimes too much laughing. Certainly our teachers thought it was excessive at times. Mr. Bonds himself sounded something like a prophet one day when he yelled, "Who do you think you are, God!?" Or like the time Artie was pulled out of the cafeteria for being disruptive. I was near the other end of the long hallway when I heard Artie's hysterical laughter and observed Mr. Bonds shaking him, (that would not be tolerated today) which only provoked Artie to even more uncontrollable laughter, so that he began spitting out the food he had been chewing. Not only were the remains of his sandwich beginning to be spread all over the floor but his loose change and whatever other treasures he kept in his pockets were scattering in all directions! It was spreading and scattering so much precisely because it COULD be spread and scattered, because it was stuff that wasn't secured. It was alarming and comical at the same time, at least from my safe vantage point down the hall and away from the venting, smoking wrath of Mr. Bonds. There will surely be hysteria and giddiness in the last hour, and we're already seeing some of it, but what Haggai prophesied won't be very comical when it begins to unfold, as the treasures of the nations are shaken from their pockets into the grateful laps of those who will know a far better use for them. Whatever institutions can be shaken will be shaken, but the Kingdom that cannot be shaken will in no way be shaken. It will already have been reduced to the least common denominator. That is the Kingdom in which I hope and pray we want to be established, now while there is still time to be.
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