Saturday – October 11, 2014; Malachi 4
1 See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
4 Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.
Recently, it seems that we have been hit with a lot of bad news: a poor economy which has thrown many into financial turmoil, worries about diseases like the Enterovirus and Ebola, new fighting in Iraq, struggles in Ukraine and in Israel, as well as crime and violence close to home! For some, all the bad news we have been hearing may be signs of the coming apocalypse! However, most likely the prevalence of bad news these days has a lot more to do with the fact that bad news boosts ratings, and ratings make money!
Face it the end of the world sells, it has been the subject of many movies, television shows and books! People are fascinated by the topic…and always have been, even back in Jesus’ day – though it may be gaining more interest today in light of how far technology has taken us in a relatively short period of time. For example, my grandfather was born into a horse-powered world where people lived without electricity and few had running water. My mother was born in a world without television, FM, radio, jet planes, or a cure for Polio. I was born in a world without cable TV, cell phones, VCRs/DVDs, the internet, and when a computer the size of a city block could not do what an iPad can do today!
Our world can move by quickly…and sometimes this can be overwhelming and scary, which, I think, is why people seem so fascinated with the end of the world…
As single parents we can often feel as if our lives are moving too quickly, and are chaotic as we try to keep up with our children, who are constantly in flux! Weighed down with these responsibilities, and struggling to deal with our kids, their needs, demands, and their misbehavior (from not listening to us to down-right defiance and even criminal activities) we can feel overwhelmed with bad news! At times like this we may also feel like an apocalypse is near…and there might even be moments when we would not mind having the world end…at least we would get a break!
Although we may feel overwhelmed and word-weary at times, today’s reading gives us hope, and not in the belief that this ‘ride’ is almost over as we are on the brink of an apocalypse, but hope that reaches us right where we are!!! For the ‘Day of the Lord’ that the Prophet tells us about is not a bad thing, as it does not forebode the end of the world (like the Rapture and Tribulation that some Christians look towards), but a time when God and humanity are finally reconciled, when the old world passes away and we move beyond our worries, fears and conflicts, and move forward in faith…together, in a spirit of reconciliation.
The Prophet tells us of this new world, but in order for the new to be born, the old has to fall away…and this is the spirit of resurrection, the embodiment of the promise of Christ in the world: that he is alive and active with us, and as his followers we are called to be The Body of Christ in the World! As the Body of Christ we are called to bring about God’s Kingdom right here in our midst…and we can do this by living and sharing our faith each day with those around us…like our children!
What better way to make Christ known in our world than to seek reconciliation right at home, with those we love the most! By sharing Christ at home, we are building a strong foundation of faith and love in our children’s lives and in our lives…laying the groundwork for reconciliation, and for a renewal of our relationships.
Once we begin this process of reconciliation and of making amends at home, we can move beyond our families to reach out to others, and in the process gain strength and support for our mission…as single parents, and as followers of Christ, who are called to carry the light of his resurrection out into all the dark places of our world.
The good news is that when we carry this light together we can find comfort in the face of our worries, frustrations and fears and the Day of the Lord comes closer to being a reality where we are…in the midst of our lives…as we grow together in faith and with our children.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you the gifts of love you have given us through Christ. Help us to share these gifts with each other, just as you have shared them with us: without condition. Let us carry the light of the resurrection into the dark places of our lives and our world, together…as we are called to do as followers of Christ. Let us remember that our faith grows when shared, and that through our sharing we are enriched for our journey, as we ‘grow up’ along with our children, and move towards the glorious Day of the Lord, when our broken world, and broken lives will finally be mended by the power of your gracious love.