“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:4-6 ESV
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5 ESV
Being a nurse is a challenging and rewarding job, and people who become nurses have to go to school first and learn how to do the work. At school they study books and learn the right way to do things and the reasons why things are done a certain way. After they have studied for awhile, the students practice doing the work. They might practice on dolls as big as people, and they might also practice on each other. When they practice, their teachers watch them and tell them what they are doing wrong and what they need to improve. All of this studying and practicing helps them get ready for the big day when they first start taking care of real people.
The prophet Malachi talked about the people getting ready for the promised Savior. First he talked about the law God had given them through Moses. This law showed them what God was like and how he wanted them to live. Then Malachi told them again about a messenger who would be like Elijah and would come and get people ready to meet the promised Savior. This messenger would call people away from their sins and bring families back together so that fathers could teach their children the ways of God. The Day of the Lord was coming, and if people weren’t ready to meet the promised Savior, they would instead earn God’s judgment.
John the Baptist was the promised messenger, and he called the people to turn away from their sins. They had not followed God’s law, and they deserved his judgment, but if they would repent, the promised Savior would forgive them and bring them back to their Heavenly Father. Jesus was the promised Savior, and this promise is also for us. We’ve sinned against God’s law, but Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins. We can come to Jesus every day for forgiveness and help. He sends us his Holy Spirit and helps us to follow God’s ways. Instead of judgment, we have the Lord’s blessing, now and always.
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to give us forgiveness and blessings from our Heavenly Father. Amen.