The Coming Messenger
3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 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 fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.[a] 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Waiting is hard. Over the past few weeks our preschool children have learned to wait to sing their songs while practicing for the Christmas program. All the classes can’t sing their songs at once. We have to wait while the smallest children sing, then the “actors” portray the story of Mary and Joseph, and then the older children can sing. There’s a lot of waiting before the final song is sung.
Waiting is hard in the month of December. Children have to wait until Christmas morning to see what’s in all those presents under the tree. We have to wait our turn in line at the post office, wait for the cookies to bake, wait for our paycheck so we can go shopping. There’s a lot to do to prepare for the holiday, but sometimes we still have to wait.
Waiting is difficult in everyday life. We have to wait for an appointment, wait for a diagnosis, wait for treatment. We might have to wait to hear from a prospective employer, wait until our health insurance kicks in, wait for the first paycheck to arrive. We may be waiting for a family member to reach out, waiting for a friend to call us back, or waiting for an apology that may never come. Even in our incredibly fast-paced society, we must wait.
The good news is that while we are waiting, God is with us. God gives us opportunities to wait so that we might draw closer to Him. He alone is there with us through every watchful moment. The times of waiting are there to prepare us for the day when Christ will return. As we wait, we should be reminded that what we wait for is not just a holiday. We are watching for God’s messenger, and we are waiting for the day when we will be purified like silver, have our sins washed clean, and be restored to a perfect relationship with God. No matter how long and difficult the waiting period might be, the end result is definitely worth it.
Dear God, we give you thanks for the times when we must wait. Help us to use the time to grow closer to you. Prepare our hearts this Advent season to receive your Son and his love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.