Thursday, December 10, 2015

From Austin Seminary: "Advent Devotional" for December 10

"A gift from our community of faith to you. We at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary are devoted to preparing outstanding leaders for Christ’s church. One of the ways that we nurture leaders is by building a loving community of faith and extending God’s grace to others. In this season of anticipation, we extend God’s grace to you and invite you to explore this book of Advent devotions. Through this collection, please join us as we prepare to receive God’s greatest gift—the birth of Jesus Christ."

CLICK HERE for a complete schedule of this season's devotionals.
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Advent Devotional for Thursday, December 10

Malachi 3:1-7

Year after year, decade after decade, we are still waiting. For what or whom do we wait? Yes, we know Jesus has already come into the world and that the Holy Spirit is God’s presence in our midst. But why does God seem so distant every now and then when we despair of what goes on in the world, in the church, and in our lives? Malachi’s times may not be that different from ours. Malachi is announcing the coming judgment of the Lord that will burn away all that is evil like a “refiner’s fire” and that will cleanse all that is impure like a “fullers’ soap.”

Malachi’s prophecy will finally be fulfilled when God’s Covenant with God’s people and all Creation is fully restored. Everyone will enjoy income equality. Human relationships will be respected and honored. The migrant, the refugee, and the marginalized will be welcomed and treated with dignity. The entire Creation will flourish because we will have learned to fear the Lord and to offer what is pleasing before God.

How much are we loved by God that God’s judgment is our salvation, that we are not consumed by the fires of suffering and affliction but we are being refined and reassured of the everlasting Covenant.

May we constantly and faithfully commit to be instruments of God’s peace that bring humanity back to a right relationship with God, with one another, with all Creation. How much longer? Let us return to God now so that God may return to us. The “Messenger” has already prepared the way.

God of mercy and love, “your judgments are true and just.” Give us the patience to continue waiting and the courage to persevere in our work and service so that “your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven." Amen.

Lemuel GarcĂ­a (MDiv’95)
Director of Alumni and Chuirch Relations

For the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a seminary in the Presbyterian-Reformed tradition whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership; to employ its resources in the service of the church; to promote and engage in critical theological thought and research; and to be a winsome and exemplary community of God's people.

This post produced with Bible Gateway reference/link 

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