Today’s Reading – Malachi
But the sun of righteousness will rise on those revering my name;
healing will be in its wings so that you will go forth
and jump about like calves in the stall. Malachi 4:2
Sound familiar? It should there is a famous Christmas song by Charles Wesley:
Hail the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
This passage in Malachi is the only place in the Bible that mentions ‘a sun of righteousness’. Christians believe that this is a description of Jesus Christ.
‘Hail’ is another word for ‘praise’.
‘Heaven-born’ means ‘born with help from God in heaven’.
‘Healing’ means health.
Jesus is the ‘heaven-born Prince of peace’ who is the Sun of Righteousness.
Malachi says that people will become very excited at the coming of this person. SO excited that they will jump about like animals that have been set free!
Have you been set free?
Do you know Jesus the ‘heaven-born Prince of peace’ – the Sun of Righteousness?
If you don’t know Him, get ready to turn the page because we are about to embark on the greatest story ever told.
Today’s Reading – Nehemiah 11-13 and Psalm 126
When it was time for the dedication of Jerusalem’s wall, they sought out the Levites in all the places where they lived in order to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with joy, with thanks and singing, and with cymbals, harps, and lyres. Nehemiah 11:27
When it was time . . .
Traditionally you do not dedicate something until it is paid for … otherwise you consecrate it for God’s work.
What a celebration to dedicate the restored wall of the city.
What a celebration to be debt free.
Most of us do not know what it means to not have a house payment, a car payment, a credit card payment, a you name it payment.
We all wait with anticipation of that time when we don’t have a payment.
We are working towards that time.
This coming year you can help by giving to reduce the debt.
We could be debt free in a few years with the combined generosity of all.
And then it will be time to pay off the mortgage and celebrate.
Until that day …
Today’s Reading – Nehemiah 8-10
On the twenty-fourth day of this month,
the people of Israel were assembled.
They fasted, wore funeral clothing,
and had dirt on their heads.
Nehemiah 9:1 CEB
Nehemiah had read the Book of the Law read to the people and they were saddened. They were instructed to not be sad, but to be happy and to feast because of all that God had done for them.
Later, they gathered together again. They were sad. They did not eat any food. The people wore rough clothes and they put dirt on their heads. This was to show that they were sad and sorry for their sins. They were ready to pray and to confess their sins to God.
The people wanted to serve and to obey the real God. They said that they were sorry for their sins. They even confessed the sins that their ancestors had done. They listened to the book of the law of God for another three hours. Then they worshiped God and they confessed their sins for another three hours.
It leaves me to wonder what the world would look like if we had dirt heaped on our heads for the sins in our lives.
Remember no shower will remove this dirt, but we are given the right to confess our sins and have them removed.
Carrying any dirt with you today?