This week’s devotion is based on a portion of the Old Testament reading for the Second Sunday in Advent in the One-Year Lectionary.
–By Elizabeth Ahlman
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts (Malachi 4:1-3 ESV).
It is very easy to think of Advent only as the time when we look forward to the celebration of Christ’s coming in the flesh as the Babe of Bethlehem. I certainly do a lot of talking about Baby Jesus with my children. However, Advent also looks forward to Christ’s Second Coming, which is where the readings point us, especially on the Second Sunday of Advent with its overwhelming talk of God’s judgment.
Judgment sounds like a scary word. After all, for those who do not believe, the judgement will burn “like an oven.” As sinners ourselves, this is truly the fate we also deserve. However, Yahweh has words of comfort for those who “fear” His Name, who believe in Him — for His people, that day is the day when Jesus, our righteousness, appears with healing. We can look forward to the Second Coming because our Savior Has made us those who fear the name of Yahweh and who receive His righteousness and healing. So we look forward to that great and glorious day when our Savior will come to take us to Himself. We wait in hope and we share that hope with those who do not yet know it.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the source and fount of all of our hope, grant that we may look forward with hope and joy to Your Second Coming such that our lives and our words would testify to that hope and others would come to look forward to that great and awesome day with us as we await our Sun of Righteousness; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.