When we experience crushing tragedy, recovering seems impossible. Often, we build walls inside ourselves, keeping our hearts and souls safe - or so we think. Haggai shows us that in the wake of the Exile, God's people were doing the same. They were neglecting their relationship with God because it was too painful. But Haggai's challenge to them is the same as to us: if we stay behind our walls, we'll slowly die. We must embrace God once again, and when we do, we'll find not a God who is cold, uncaring and distant, but a God who suffers with us, who is working even now to redeem the world.
Jonah is a prophet of God with an unlikely story. He tries to run from God. He is swallowed by a fish. He converts an evil empire with a 1-sentence sermon of judgment. And yet the most unbelievable part of Jonah's story is that this prophet of God is the most hateful, spiteful person we've ever met. How is Jonah's story a warning for us? How does he warn us against becoming bitter and spiteful?