Hope for the Cynical (Malachi 2:17-3:5)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Malachi 2:17–3:5
This week we come to the second Sunday in Advent as prepare our hearts for the Incarnation of Christ. We’re taking a short break from 1 Corinthians and are looking at “Christmas with the Minor Prophets,” considering a few texts in the Minor Prophets to see how they point us to Christmas hope. This Sunday we’re consider a passage from Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. Malachi’s addressing a situation very different from Amos, whom we looked at last week. Amos was dealing with a prosperous people who thought God must approve of them since they were doing so well. And Amos told them they were getting it wrong. This week with Malachi, we have almost the reverse situation. It’s now after the exile, the people aren’t doing well, they’ve become bitter, complaining, and cynical. And they’re convinced that God has either forgotten them or doesn’t care about them. And Malachi has come to tell them they were getting it wrong
These two situations are dramatically different, and yet, at the same time, dramatically similar. In both cases, the people were judging God and His Prophets based on their circumstances, rather than judging their circumstances based on God and His Word. Sure glad no one does that anymore. … Wait, what? Of course, people today still do that all the time. We base our judgments about God, His Word, His church, and His Providential Care on our circumstances. And the Minor Prophets have arrived to tell us that we’re getting it wrong. This Sunday, we continue our advent series with another prophecy of hope from Malachi 2:17-3:5. I think there’s much here for us to learn about hope, even after, and maybe especially after, we’ve lost hope. And that’s because Malachi wants us to remember that our hope is not in our changing circumstances but in our unchanging God.
There are two other events this Sunday. After church, there’s a New Member Class at the church office. It’s always a joy when folks want to take time to learn more about Potomac Hills. And then Sunday evening, we’ll have the first of our Christmas Caroling events in Potomac Station (that’s the neighborhood across the street from the school). Should be a fun time. Let James Murphy know if you want to participate.
Additionally, we’re continuing to look at how Potomac Hills has made a difference in the lives of various people. So, we’ve asked a some folks to share a brief testimony each week on how God has used this church in their lives. So far, we’ve heard from the Culver’s and the Frankenfield’s about how God was worked in their lives through Potomac Hills. This week we’re going to reflect on how God uses prayer to bring us to a place of hope and trust. It should be a special time, see you Sunday! Dr. Dave