Advent has been compared to the anticipation of a child’s birth. But I know from experience that such a wait is not all joy and hope, it’s also fear and trembling. Will the child be healthy? If she’s not, will I be able to deal with the challenges she will face? Will I be a good parent? What will the world be like that she will inherit? Or even more fundamentally, will she like me?
There are two sides to the Advent story. The first is, yes, a saviour is coming, and that’s good news. The flip side is that we need a saviour in the first place, and that’s the bad news.
I think that’s what the prophet Malachi was trying to get at. He sounds angry in today’s passage, doesn’t he? You almost need to dodge the fire spitting from his mouth. It’s the kind of stuff you expect an old time prophet to say. And you can certainly hear where John the Baptist drew his inspiration from.
It was the same old story with the prophet preaching the same old message. God’s people have broken their agreement with the Almighty. They’ve done awful things to each other. They’ve forgotten their God.
So, there’s a sobering side to this season of getting ready. In just two weeks we will....(The whole thing here)