As I read these Scriptures I was astonished by the beautiful visual of God’s character and providence in our broken world. In these last few verses of Malachi, we are shown God’s justice and love, His punishment of sin and His plan for redemption. This passage harkens back to the foundation of God’s people and His commands for their lives. It reminds the people of the way in which they should walk to glorify their God. Directly following this glance back in Israel’s history, we are pointed forward with a prophecy of the coming of one who would prepare the way for the Messiah, one who would call the people to repentance. Because we are blessed with the New Testament, we know that this person who would be coming would be John the Baptist. He lived and ministered in ways very similar to that of the Old Testament prophets and did indeed lead people to turn from their sin and look toward the coming of Jesus.
My hope is that during this season of advent we have seized the opportunity to return our focus to the beautiful gift God provided, the solution to our sin problem and the call to live for His glory. John’s life was dedicated to serving God, preaching His word, and preparing people’s hearts for the coming of Jesus. I pray that as we end this season of celebration, we don’t end our striving and seeking after God. I pray that we will remember the commands of God and the ways He has called us to live. I pray that tomorrow as we celebrate Christmas, whether alone, with family, or with friends, we will not be swept away by distractions or emotions, but that we will rejoice because our hearts have been prepared! Our hearts are ready to celebrate the redemption story that is unfolding still today! We can rejoice in the understanding that though our world is sinful, our God is holy and His plan is best! So today as you go through your last minute preparations for Christmas, remember to take time to stop and let God prepare your heart. Let’s be ready to celebrate the greatest gift of all.