Monday, November 7, 2016

Proper 28 C - Malachi 4:1-2

The arrogant evil doers in Malachi are identified in chapter one as priests who show contempt for the Lord’s name by offering sacrifices of blind, lame and diseased animals on the altar of the Lord. In chapter two the priests have wearied the Lord with words and their lying lips have turned from the teachings that preserve knowledge. In chapter three they have robbed the Lord by withholding tithes and offerings so that the storehouse that should be full stands empty. Therefore, says the Lord, a day is surely coming… So I guess that means unless you are a priest in postexilic Judah (or a present day pastor?) you can breathe a sigh of relief. Well maybe not entirely for this is a word about maintaining a right relationship with God. When we are less than faithful our spiritual life is like stubble with neither root nor branch. But the word of judgment is always an invitation. “Return to me and I will return you.” (3:7) Which is followed by a word of promise, “Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (3:10)

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