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1. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Or cried at first but ended up laughing? When?
2. What for you were the good ol’ days? Why?
3. What did it take to lay the foundation for this new temple (verses 7 – 9)?
4. Read 1 Kings 5:1 – 6:1 to see what went into building Solomon’s temple the first time. What parallels do you find? Why does Ezra pointedly accent such parallels (see chapter 3:2)? What does this say about second chances?
5. Why would some who knew the former temple cry while others shout aloud for joy?
6. Ezra has the temple rebuilt on Solomon’s original foundations. What is the lesson for you in this?
7. What cornerstone ceremony has helped you celebrate new beginnings (for instance: in your marriage, in your work, your retirement, your life with God)?
8. Ezra waited for the second year post-exile before doing what he wanted. How patient are you (with self, God, others) when waiting for a new beginning?