"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, December 03, 2012

Day 1 of Advent - Sunday, December 2

Day 1 of Advent - Sunday, December 2
Malachi 3:1-4 - Anticipation

  “Behold, I will send My messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me….But, who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap.” (Malachi 3:1a - 2)

  Anticipation is defined as a realization in advance; a foretaste; an expectation or hope.  For generations, the Israelites had known that a Messiah was promised to them. Someone to save them from the oppressions they had known, the enslavements they had been living in and to bring a restoration to their lives and lands. Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophets and his message was to remind the Jewish people that despite how stubborn and unfaithful they had been to God, they still had a Hope that was to come. He encouraged them to return to a right way of life, living by the standards given to them by God.

  My dog, Murphy, was a terrier with a mind of his own. If he didn’t want to come, he wouldn’t come. If he didn’t want to go chase the ball, he wouldn’t do it. If he didn’t want to eat his food, he wouldn’t eat his food. Sometimes his stubbornness got him in trouble with me and I had to fuss at him. He may pout for awhile, but eventually he would come to me and look up with those big brown terrier eyes and I knew he wanted back in my good graces. There was a lot of hoping in that little 12-pound body. He would anticipate all the good treats and neck rubs that I would be giving him. And I always did.

  As we begin this season of Advent, a season of anticipation, a time where we look forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth, we may need to remember that no matter how far from God we have drifted this past year, He is still there waiting for you to return. There is always Hope when you are in God’s presence. The Hope that was born at Christmas.

Spend some quiet time with God today.


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