The prophets were good at pointing out the faults and failures of the people of their day as was Malachi in this passage for today. He was clearly a thoughtful Jew living in Jerusalem who was concerned with the abuses of his time: the carelessness of priest and people with respect to religious offerings and more importantly the faithlessness of the people toward the covenant that existed between God and their ancestors (“the wife of their youth.”) It is interesting that Malachi uses marriage images to explain this relationship. A marriage between loving partners mirrors, at the human level, the loving relationship that should exist between God and his people.
As with many marriages, the loving, caring, nurturing relationship can often go astray. Yet, Malachi provides a word of hope, “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.” (Malachi 3:1) Was the writer of this book referring to himself as the messenger? Perhaps, Malachi actually can be translated as “my messenger.” We can’t know for sure. What we do know for certain is that God acts. His love for us is so strong that he will bring about the reconciliation that is so essential in any positive relationship. Are you taking the time to find this message of love and reconciliation in this devotional booklet and at weekend services? Will that message make a difference in your life this Advent season?
Dearest Lord, thank you for the ‘straight talk’ of the prophets. Open our minds and hearts to your message of love and reconciliation so that our lives will show that right relationship in everything that we do and say. Amen.