Messages Notes by Pastor Ewings on a sermon based on Malachi 4:1-3
Daylight savings time is an answer to prayer for all who feel like they’re not ready to face the harsh realities of a new day. Do you appreciate an extra hour of sleep? Many Alaskans consider daylight savings time to be irrelevant at best and a nuisance at worst. Some feel that it isn’t worth the hassle to adjust the clocks twice a year—Alaskans don’t receive that much of a benefit due to the rapid change of the seasons anyway. Others believe that it’s best for our economy to stay as close as possible to the schedule of the Lower 48. No matter what your opinion is about daylight savings time, if you hope to keep up with the rest of the world, you’d better spring forward and fall back.
Until fairly recently, though, people throughout the world gave little or no thought to measuring the time of day. People simply made the most of the daylight hours, working from dawn till dusk. In those days, most people cared little about the exactness of time. In 1790, for example, fewer than 10 percent of Americans had a clock of any kind and most of those clocks had no minute hand. Today, it seems, you can’t escape a clock’s menacing countenance. Its face stares at you, ticking the seconds, minutes and hours away, laughing the whole time with its steady, “tick, tock, tick, tock.” You can’t even pull out your cell phone without being badgered by a clock. While we can’t discount the time ticking away, it seems there is a clock we often ignore: God’s time. As we consider today especially that the Lord will come to judge the living and the dead, it’s time to consider how we’ve been spending the days of grace our God has given us.
In today’s Bible reading, the prophet Malachi gives us an announcement from God so that we can adjust our lives accordingly. Malachi’s message is twofold: the same sun will come out but will have differing effects: the arrogant will be burned but the righteous will be healed. The day Malachi mentioned is no ordinary day, but Judgment Day, when the Lord will return and hold a trial for every person who’s ever lived. There won’t be time to turn back the clock, to change time zones or file an extension. When He comes, time’s up! As surely as the sun rises, the Son is coming.
Malachi brings to light the end of time when the day of eternity dawns and the Son of God bursts brightly upon our world. There will be those who think they are safe from the Son’s rays of glory and holiness because they’re as good as anyone else in the world. The prophet makes it known that those arrogantly undisturbed about warnings against sinful behavior and sinful pride, will be burned. “Surely, the day is coming!” God warns then and warns now. The Son has power to burn.
The same Son who has the power to burn also has power to heal. The wings, or rays, of the sun of righteousness stretch over the world searching to touch the darkness of despair and bring the saving light of Christ’s love to people clouded with guilt. What sinful pattern of thinking or behaving needs to be burned away from your life? What heartache do you have that needs to be healed? Look to the light of your Savior’s promises and get some more sun. He will brighten your days on this earth and enlighten your way to eternity.
Lesson 1 - Malachi 4:1-3
Lesson 2 - Hebrews 9:24-28
Gospel - John 5:19-24