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1 Maccabees 4:44-45 They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. And they thought it best to tear it down, so that it would not be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar.
For the community of the children of Israel living in Jerusalem, this is a way of dealing with their shame over having seen their holy places desecrated beyond the point of further use. Sometimes, all we can do to start over is to tear it all down.
Part of the work of discipleship is assuming a posture of laying everything in our lives before the cross of Christ—all of it that is potentially a source for shame—and ask God to transform our ashes into joy.
MOVING FORWARD: What in your life has been profaned and defiled? How will you re-consecrate it?