Second Sunday in Advent December 7, 2003.Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6
Malachi is primarily written to the corrupt priests of Israel. The prophet calls the priests those "who despise de·spise
tr.v. de·spised, de·spis·ing, de·spis·es
1. To regard with contempt or scorn: despised all cowards and flatterers.
2. [the Lord's] name" (1:6). The priests are accused of causing "many to stumble" and of corrupting the covenant of the Lord (2:8). Malachi says that these prophets have "wearied the Lord with [their] words" (2:17) "by saying, 'All who do evil are good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.' Or by asking, 'Where is the God of justice?"'
Our text is an announcement that the messenger of the Lord, and subsequently the Lord himself, will suddenly come to his temple. Ironically, this messenger is one in whom the priests claim to be delighting, and the Lord is one they claim to seek. The prophet, however, is skeptical of their welcome for the Lord and his anointed "Anointed" redirects here. For the process of anointing, see Anointing.
Anointed is a Contemporary Christian music duo consisting of siblings Steve and Da'dra Crawford. Their musical style includes elements of R&B, funk, and piano ballads. and reminds them that the new arrivals will purify Purify - A debugging tool from Pure Software. these descendants DESCENDANTS. Those who have issued from an individual, and include his children, grandchildren, and their children to the remotest degree. Ambl. 327 2 Bro. C. C. 30; Id. 230 3 Bro. C. C. 367; 1 Rop. Leg. 115; 2 Bouv. n. 1956.
2. of Levi as gold and silver are purified. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , they will be put through fire. The soap (in Hebrew, "lye") of the fuller will cleanse cleanse
tr.v. cleansed, cleans·ing, cleans·es
To free from dirt, defilement, or guilt; purge or clean.
[Middle English clensen, from Old English them of all impurities. The message is undoubtedly that this cleansing process will not be pain-free. But the result will be that the offerings given in Judah and Jerusalem will again be pleasing to the Lord, for they will be made by righteous right·eous
1. Morally upright; without guilt or sin: a righteous parishioner.
2. In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.
The Epistle reading is primarily a testimony to Paul's affection for the Philippians. This congregation seems to have been the first established by Paul in Europe, and his relationship with them was a very happy and close one (Acts 16:11-13, 4:15-16). The work of the gospel in Philippi, however, was very difficult, as there was intense opposition to Paul's evangelistic efforts from the beginning (Acts 16:19-40). This persecution apparently only cemented Paul and the Philippians together even more closely. Thus, in today's text Paul praises them for their "sharing in the gospel from the first day until now." The word translated "sharing" is koinonia Noun 1. koinonia - Christian fellowship or communion with God or with fellow Christians; said in particular of the early Christian community
fellowship, family - an association of people who share common beliefs or activities; "the message was addressed not just to , a word that has found its way into popular Christian usage. Often translated "fellowship," participant with," "partner," or "sharer," when a person is in koinonia with another, the sharing is much deeper than any of these translations suggest. Those who are in koinonia are in fellowship with Christ, the Spirit, one another, and with the work and suffering of the gospel. Paul's multiple thanksgivings for the faith of the Philippians are all the more profound as he gives thanks to God for the myriad ways in which they share with him in the gospel.
The central figure of the Gospel text is, of course, John the Baptist John the Baptist
prophet who baptized crowds and preached Christ’s coming. [N.T.: Matthew 3:1–13]
See : Baptism
John the Baptist
head presented as gift to Salome. [N.T.: Mark 6:25–28]
See : Decapitation . Well before this time, at both the announcement of his birth to Zechariah (1:17) and on the occasion of his circumcision circumcision (sûr'kəmsĭzh`ən), operation to remove the foreskin covering the glans of the penis. It dates back to prehistoric times and was widespread throughout the Middle East as a religious rite before it was introduced among the (1:76), we are told that John will be the one who "will go before the Lord to prepare his ways." This parallels the Malachi text and undoubtedly brings to mind, for its hearers, the promises and warnings of Malachi. As in Malachi, the people that first heard the announcement of this messenger and the Lord's imminent return were ill-equipped to welcome it. The list of names, from Tiberius to Annas and Caiaphas, was certainly no list of saints, and thus this messenger came to a people claiming to "delight" in the Lord but by no means living that way. But that is exactly why John came "proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."
The exilic prophet Isaiah is quoted here. Is the inference that the hearers are also "exiled in sin"? Claus Westermann Rev. Dr. Claus Westermann was an Old Testament scholar.
He was born on October 7, 1909 in Berlin. During World War II, he also served in the Germany army for five years.
Prof. says that these verses are a "message of God's new act ... the new event, the exile's release and the new exodus, is already under way." God has forgiven the people and resolved upon their deliverance Deliverance
See also Freedom.
epithet of Zeus, meaning ‘releaser.’ [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 292–293]
(1783–1830) the great liberator of South America. [Am. Hist. . "That God turns once again to his chosen people in forgiveness puts everything right" (Handbook of the Old Testament, pp. 34-36). All this can be seen from the simple purpose clause that is translated "repentance for the forgiveness of sins." The phrase might well be translated "repentance so that sins might be forgiven."
In other words, the purpose of repentance is that sins might be forgiven. God has decided to forgive. That is the Good News. GM
Paul's declaration, "that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless blame·less
Free of blame or guilt; innocent.
blame ," being ready for the coming of the Lord, or being prepared for the announcement of God's arrival, are certainly themes that arise from these readings. Because Advent is a time of preparation, it is appropriate that at least one Sunday before Christmas be devoted to repentance.
We might ask our hearers whether they are ready for Christmas. What does that mean? Of course it means getting presents purchased and cookies baked and decorations up, but the challenge could be to stop and prepare one's heart. For a preacher this is no small task, for one could simply shame everyone from the pulpit for "being so secular," but where is the good news in that? Perhaps we could invite our hearers into the place where one can hear the weeping of Jesus over Jerusalem, or the lamenting of the Lord in the book of Hosea Noun 1. Book of Hosea - an Old Testament book telling Hosea's prophecies
Old Testament - the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the Christian Bible . Certainly a preacher would want to announce the fact that God has decided to forgive sin!
A preacher could talk about preparing for death by lifting up the lives of saints who have passed away in faith and hope. We could talk about preparation for receiving Holy Communion by lifting up our parents' and grandparents' memories of going to the church or the parsonage and meeting with the pastor the night before receiving Holy Communion. Aside from the impossibility Impossibility
See also Unattainability.
belling the cat
mouse’s proposal for warning of cat’s approach; application fatal. [Gk. Lit. of such a system in our day, and the fact that many of our churches practice weekly communion, this could be an excellent way to reflect on what preparation means for receiving the sacrament sacrament [Lat.,=something holy], an outward sign of something sacred. In Christianity, a sacrament is commonly defined as having been instituted by Jesus and consisting of a visible sign of invisible grace. . We might also consider preparation for Holy Baptism. Many pastors provide pre-baptismal counseling with parents and/or candidates. This practice could be described and used to remind people of the promises of baptism and the promises of raising a child in the Christian faith. "Preparing the way of the Lord" could find its way into sermons on a wide variety of subjects.
A related but more difficult tack is to look at the costs of being unprepared. The Malachi passage particularly lends itself to this. The priests for whom this text was written did not consider themselves unprepared to meet the messenger of the Lord, and yet they clearly were. What is the warning here for us? Hubris Hubris
An arrogance due to excessive pride and an insolence toward others. A classic character flaw of a trader or investor. ? This kind of preaching is difficult not because people might not want to hear this word but because it is difficult to get back to the gospel of forgiveness if the sermon theme is unpreparedness. One might get to the gospel by showing how God prepares us through "fire" and "fuller's soap." The preacher might suggest that God's cleansing action, though painful, is really a gracious act. Like a surgeon who cuts out cancer, or a parent who disciplines a child, or a counselor who leads an intervention, painful means sometimes lead to life-giving ends. This could be a way of getting to the gospel word of God's love without giving up on the theme of unpreparedness.
Philippians gives the preacher fodder fodder
feed for herbivorous animals, usually used to describe dried leafy material such as hay. See also forage.
a root crop grown solely as a source of feed for cattle, possibly sheep. for celebrating our fellowship (koinonia) with other believers, with Christ, and within the work of the ministry. We are not alone. Faith is not merely "Jesus and me." Christian belonging means that I am attached to everything of the Spirit, and in this I rejoice. Tying in somewhat with the major theme of preparation, one could say that our partnership with other believers, with Christ, and with the Spirit is one way of ensuring that we are "prepared" for the coming of the Lord.