Monday after the First Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:1-5 ,Haggai 2:5–9, Malachi 2:4–7 (read online ⧉)

One of the biggest problems with …is us. Peace often does not reside well in our souls. We bear the world’s concerns as if they were our own. It is not that we are not to care about the world, but only God is capable of caring for all the concerns of the world. Our “” on the other hand is usually pre-occupied with what we think we give us : whether it is food, clothing, riches, , things, “friends” or whatever else. Somehow having the burden for caring for all these things is supposed to give us .

In Micah’s time, Israel perceives that the world is ast it. It (as Micah says) is cutting itself in grief. It is an odd time for an origin . Yet, here we are with the that God’s proxy ruler (the Messiah) will come from Bethlehem. This Messiah will be a shepherd. The shepherd is a caretaker who s the sheep. The shepherd will not control or direct by force, but by . This shepherd will be their . The language is peculiar. The shepherd will be their , not the shepherd will bring or enforce . Be .

Be . God d that Israel would have God, granted as long as they wanted God. As they wandered further and further away from God in their s, while still fulfilling the trappings of ness, in their s and in their lands ceased. God wasn’t done with them though. Despite all the troubles they brought upon themselves in the world, God would provide .

We can look at the archetypal Levi in Malachi to understand. Those who are called to worship God directly (Levites in Israelite culture, all Christians) received a covenant of life and . All that was required was reverence, which often seems to be sadly lost even among those who say they “” God. Out of the reverence words of Truth were to come, and turn those living in sin away from it.

1) What is reverence?

2) Do you think reverence and go ? Why or why not?

3) Why do you think the shepherd being is important? What does that mean to you?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.