Morning Musing: Malachi 2:3-4

“‘Look, I am going to rebuke your descendants, and I will spread animal waste over your faces, the waste from your festival sacrifices, and you will be taken away with it. Then you will know that I sent you this decree, so that my covenant with Levi may continue,’ says the Lord of Armies.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We have several different expressions in English to convey that someone has experienced some kind of embarrassment. One is to eat crow. This phrase comes from the fact that if you have to eat crow, you can’t afford to purchase real meat. It is a humbling state of affairs to be that poor. Another expression is to have egg on your face. This one came out of a time when soft-boiled eggs were a common breakfast item. Men with beards would sometimes leave remnants of their eggy breakfast on their face, and without realizing it carry it with them throughout the day. How embarrassing to later discover you’d been wearing evidence of your morning meal so publicly! In His anger here over the empty and cynical worship practices the priests were allowing and even encouraging, God says He is going to leave something on their faces, but it isn’t egg.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 1:12-13

“‘But you are profaning it when you say: “The Lord’s table is defiled, and its product, its food, is contemptible.” You also say: “Look, what a nuisance!” And you scorn it,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘You bring stolen, lame, or sick animals. You bring this as an offering! Am I to accept that from your hands?’ asks the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is a genre of comedy I would call “office comedy.” Some of the more popular entries are the movie Office Space from several years ago and the more recent television show, The Office. Entries in this genre all carry the same basic understanding of work: It’s something you have to do because there are bills to be paid and we all like to eat. In this vein, work is a convenience to be sure. But other than the convenience of enabling us to, you know, live, it’s an enormous, soul-sucking inconvenience in our lives that gets in the way of all the things we’d rather be doing. In Malachi’s day–and in ours as well–people were taking the same approach in their thinking about their relationship with God. He wasn’t happy about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:1-2

“Ask the Lord for rain in the season of spring rain. The Lord makes the rain clouds, and he will give them showers of rain and crops in the field for everyone. For the idols speak falsehood, and the diviners see illusions; they relate empty dreams and offer empty comfort. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever stood in the wrong line for something? Was it a long wait? Lisa and I were going to a show once and spent 30 minutes waiting in line to get in with a whole crowd of people. The line never moved. An inch. Eventually, an employee came out and announced this was the line for will call. I think 75% of that line moved over to the pre-ticketed line. Our hopes in that were entirely false. It would not have gotten us where we wanted to go. It looked awfully similar, yes, but it was a fake all the same. As Zechariah points out here, this is kind of like what idolatry does to our lives.

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Redeeming Your Time

What are we supposed to do with all the time we have on our hands now? Perhaps you don’t feel that tension during the day if your household is like ours and you’re trying to both work full-time and do school for your kids, but as the busyness of the day ends and the weekends arrive, it may make itself known. In a day when many people are wondering what we’re supposed to be doing, here are some answers to that tough question.

Reverend Jonathan Waits
Sermon: Redeeming Your Time (2 Peter 3:14-17)
Date: April 5, 2020

So, are you bored yet? As I occasionally scroll through my Facebook feed, I see post after post of people asking to be entertained. We are living in an interesting time. For a society that is as digitally fed as ours is, we are collectively learning that you can only stream so much content before you’ve had enough. The other day my boys watched a show in the morning, and then entirely of their own accord turned the TV off and went outside to play for pretty much the rest of the morning. All by themselves. I didn’t have to tell them to go at all. I wondered for just a bit if someone had replaced all my children with doppelgangers. Our culture is collectively rediscovering that there is a whole world outdoors that reflects God’s beauty and is worth exploring to its fullest. We are reconnecting on walks in ways we haven’t done in some time. I wonder sometimes if our reaction once things get back to whatever normal is going to be on the other side of this will be to overload on busyness to make up for the lack we have enjoyed, or to realize just how busy we were in comparison with how we have been and opt for a slower pace all on our own. Then again, perhaps not, but maybe. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that these are interesting times and not necessarily in a good way.

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Morning Musing: Habakkuk 2:20

“But the Lord is in his holy temple; let the whole earth be silent in his presence.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There are some people who, when they speak, everyone around them listens. You’ve perhaps been around people like this before. There was just something about them. Not everyone has this. It’s generally a reputation that is earned over time. Not everyone recognizes it immediately. But when they do, they fall in line. What Habakkuk wants us to recognize here is that God is one of these people.

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