November 11

Malachi 4:1-2a

But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings…” vs. 2a

Some prophets of Israel looked for the coming Day of the Lord, a final intervention by God in which the evil would punished and the good rewarded. There are still many who look for such a Day. Their hope is that the really bad people who are such a scourge on society would be destroyed. It’s an understandable desire. Most all folks would like for there to be some sort of ultimate justice. But there’s another vision for the future, one that doesn’t divide humanity into good and bad and require vengeance from God. Adherents of such a view see the Day of the Lord as a time of purification, a time when the stubble of our lives is burned away, and God acts with unquenchable love to cleanse all people. In Malachi’s words there would be a rising of the sun of righteousness, with healing in its wings. That’s an image worth hanging on to, one that is similar to John’s description of the Light that shines in the darkness and that cannot be overcome. Of course not all will like that picture of the future. They like the idea of division and punishment–it is after all the way of the world. But people of grace will welcome an inclusive view of the life to come. They look forward to the day when the image of God will be fully restored in sinners and all will be welcomed home.

Thought for the Day: How do I understand the Day of the Lord?

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