Today’s Reading: Malachi 4:1-6
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 24:1-13; 1 John 1:1-2:14
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” (Malachi 4:2a)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The prophet Malachi was told by God to proclaim the coming judgment of the Lord. On that day, the Lord would come with great glory and might, and the arrogant and all evil doers would be set ablaze. The day of the Lord was a day of judgment for the sins of the people. This day of the Lord came to the nation of Israel when the holy city Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.
This day will also come on the final day when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead. On that day all people who have lived on this earth will have to stand before the Judge and give an account of all that they have done. Can you imagine the feeling of dread and fear that will arise as the sins of a whole life are laid before the unrelenting gaze of the perfect Son of God? For those without Christ, it will be a day of great sadness. Their sins will condemn them. They will be judged and cast into the fires of hell to spend eternity under the wrath of God.
However, for all those in Christ, this will be a day of great healing. Malachi tells us that the sun of righteousness will arise with healing. Our sins will be no more because the blood of Jesus will cleanse us. This healing was bought for you on the Cross when Jesus, the true Son of righteousness, gave up His life willingly. He died so that you might be forgiven. You and I need never fear the Day of Judgment because on that day we will stand before the judge and hear that we are forgiven. Then we will be welcomed into heaven along with all believers because of Jesus’s sacrifice. What a great gift that has been given to us through faith! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, I do not deserve a glimpse of heaven, and I am unable with my works to redeem myself from sin, death, the devil, and hell. Nevertheless, you have given me your Son, Jesus Christ, who is far more precious and dear than heaven, and much stronger than sin, death, the devil, and hell. For this I rejoice, praise, and thank you, O God. Without cost and out of pure grace you have given me this boundless blessing in your dear Son. Through Him you take sin, death and hell from me, and do grant me all that belongs to him. Amen. (Luther’s Prayers)
–Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch