“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” (Malachi 4:2, NLT)
These words are among the last ones in the Hebrew Scriptures – at least the way we Christians have arranged the 39 books that comprise our “Old Testament” – and that’s certainly no accident. Malachi is by no means the latest of the prophets whose works appear in the Old Testament, and yet the book that bears his name can’t be read by Christians without calling to mind the coming of Jesus. The “Sun of Righteousness” is for us none other than the “Righteous Son”, the one whose coming illuminates the darkness of our world and brings healing where division and decay and death hold sway. During this Advent season, when we are all too aware of the brokenness of our world, there is power in the prophecy of Malachi, and in the promise of Jesus, whose light shines into our hearts and brightens our days with the hope of a world renewed and restored.
Mighty God, your word tells us of a day when evil and wickedness will be defeated and the pure light of your righteousness will turn night into day. Turn our hearts to you and toward one another, that we might reflect the brightness of your dawning into the shadows of darkness and despair, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
– Pr. Andrew Chavanak, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA), Falls City