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Wednesday, December 23

Jim Greene

Malachi 3:1-5

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me…

[In trying to write this meditation, I am aware how it is so much easier for me to form and articulate thoughts about a scriptural passage when I am in conversation with others. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a Bible study, Zooming if necessary, on the upcoming Advent and Lenten passages for potential writers? Having shared that, ...]

The word Malachi is Hebrew for “messenger” or “messenger of God.” Authorship is uncertain. Did one named Malachi write it, or is Malachi (Messenger) simply what the writing is about? Scholars speculate that Malachi may refer to Ezra. Whatever.

Malachi is said to have been written in the period after the return from Babylonian exile, after the rededication of the Temple in the 6th century BC. The Jews had been back in their homeland for more than a hundred years. The temple had been rebuilt and the city of Jerusalem had been restored. It is the last book in the Hebrew Scripture, Chapter 3 stating, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” The first Gospel, Mark (not Matthew) reads, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as it is written in the prophets: Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.

So, what is the way prepared before us? Here’s my two cents. Just try to do the next right thing; seek justice in all things, seek mercy, walk humbly, respect the dignity of everyone, do not tolerate malicious behaviors and be not afraid of standing and speaking for the values that "Messenger" Christ teaches and entreats us. I am bewildered at my inability to better advocate for my convictions. Lord, have mercy. Restore me and purify me in your mercy.

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