2 Chronicles 36:22-23
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
‘“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.”
Reflection. This is a key moment in the Bible. The 70 years of exile in Babylon, after the destruction of Jerusalem, are brought to an end. Cyprus of Persia issues the decree for the return to happen.
Not only a key moment, but also a key phrase: "Let him go up." The same root word is still used in Hebrew for those Jewish people who choose to return to Israel to make it their home. And it is used in synagogues to go up to the lectern to read from the scrolls of the Bible. It has the idea of 'to ascend.'
If you need something to reflect upon this day, why not call to mind one or two key moments or phrases in your life. Then thank God for them. Dwell on them and 'go up.'
Prayer. Lord God Almighty, may we be free to go up into your presence. For Jesus' sake. Amen.