December 20, 2017

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

December 20, 2017


Psalm 125

Malachi 3:16-4:4

This weekend’s reading: Luke 2:1-20

Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament and bridges the Old Testament and the New Testament with its announcement of the coming “Day of the Lord” and the arrival of the prophet Elijah before that day arrives. (Malachi 4:5). Many believe that John the Baptist played the role of Elijah the prophet when he announced the coming of Jesus the Messiah. It’s appropriate that we’re reading Malachi just a few days before we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25.

Verses 4:1-2 paint a vivid picture of what the “Day of the Lord” will be like. It will be a time of judgment — burning like an oven or a furnace. The wicked will be consumed like stubble in the heat of the fire. But here’s an interesting thing — scholars point out that the same powerful heat that consumes the wicked will be like a “sun of righteousness with healing in its wings” for those who love God. The coming of the Lord will result in joyful freedom for the Lord’s followers — joy like that of calves released from a stall and frolicking in a field of grass.

In these last few days before Christmas, think about how the coming of the Lord can bring healing and freedom to your life.


  • When you think of the “Day of the Lord,” do you feel anxious or joyful?
  • Where do you need the healing presence of God in your life?


  • How do you feel when it’s time to go outside for recess?
  • Talk to your family about these feelings and how loving God and following his rules can make you feel just as happy as getting out of school for the afternoon.

Loving Lord, we await your coming with great anticipation, longing for the healing and freedom your arrival brings to our lives. Amen.