Today's Lectionary Text
See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.
Reading these verses in Malachi, I’m amazed how similar the historical context is to today. The people were discouraged and confused. Living in the middle of economic hard times, dysfunctional religious practices, the prosperity and influence of the arrogant and evildoers, and the general indifference of people to the wellbeing of the community – they wondered what’s next. Sounds familiar to our times, doesn’t it!
And the wonderment then and now by people of faith was where is God in all this mess? And what should we do? And how shall we respond to the call from God’s messengers to repent?
Note the first verse of today’s reading. “See, the day is coming …” See. It’s an invitation to see how we see the future. It’s a call to have Advent eyes – eyes looking for what’s been promised to come. Eyes that are anticipating seeing the coming of the Lord, both at the end of history and in the middle of our history.
So, these weeks of Advent, what are you seeing for our world, our nation, our church? Can you see a day when the arrogant will lose their grip and evildoing will be stopped? Can you see a day when the Sun of Righteousness creates right relationships, healing and peace? Can you see a day when humanity’s humility and reverence align with the emerging reign of God? I’m praying for Advent eyes this month; for eyes that can see the coming of the Lord Jesus into our days, months and years ahead. And I will sing with gusto this season a verse of a Christmas carol that alludes to these verses in Malachi: “Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace, Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.”
-Rev. Rick Saylor, Retired
Clergy and Congregational Coach
Prayer for Reflection
It’s Advent O Lord. As I look at the world around me guard me from discouragement. Instead help me see how I see the future. And give me courage to see the world from your perspective as demonstrated in the life and promises of Jesus. And so it is.
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