Advent Readings Day 7

Reading: Malachi 4:1-6

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”  Malachi 4:2

Have you ever gotten tired of watching people around you who are not Jesus followers prosper?  Maybe you know the drill.  You have tried your hardest to follow God and obey Him, yet the people around you who appear to be godless are the ones who get all of the breaks.  They’ve got the money.  They’ve got the cars.  They’ve got leisure time.  They are buying the most amazing gifts for their kids this Christmas.  Yet you have tried to be faithful to God, and inside there is a cry that says, “God, its not fair!”

It would seem that God followers in Malachi’s day were feeling the same sense of injustice.  They looked around and saw the wicked thriving and began to think that following God’s ways was not all that it was cracked up to be.  Wouldn’t it be easier to be a pagan and get whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it?

And into this situation is spoken some of the most beautiful words to hold onto.  These are words that talk of the coming of Jesus and point toward what God is doing under the surface.  It would take generations for God to reveal this plan, yet he spoke it into the hearts of the people in Malachi’s day and for generations the anticipation would build for the day when God would make all things right.

The phrase “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves” is like water for the weary soul.  For someone who has tried to be faithful, yet feels like the walls are caving in, this is a word worth holding onto – both then and now.

Many scholars feel that the sun of righteousness was a name given for The Messiah and ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.  The Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in His rays.  The just and whole one who brings healing and wholeness.  The sun who shines into the darkness and brings light to what really matters.  An amazing image of Jesus bringing healing and wholeness to a weary and worn out people.  He wins even when it appeared for years that He was losing.

But the news doesn’t stop there.  We read that we will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.  Calves who in the midst of a sunny day do not need to worry about seeking shelter and they don’t need to nurse nor graze because their bellies are full – so they play and kick and run in the field.   Joy beyond measure.  Into a very dark time Malachi delivers a message of hope.

Into our world today this same message comes.  As we see injustice around us and there are reports all around that everything is going to hell in a hand basket, there is some One we can hold onto – The Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in His rays.  He shines His rays into the darkest corners of slums where houses seem uninhabitable.  He shines His rays into the darkest of hearts that have become hardened over time.

While much of the world seems to prosper unjustly around us, we have a hope to grab ahold of – The Sun of Righteousness is here who brings healing!  May we rejoice like some well-fed calves on a sunny day – and may that joy be contagious enough to point the way beyond worldly prosperity and success to the only One who brings true healing and wholeness.

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