Thursday, December 16, 2021

Advent Words Day 19 ~ Prepare


Day 19: Prepare

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:1

 In the ancient days of the Old Testament, prophets were the messengers of God who would share the words of the Lord with the people. Many of those prophets spoke and wrote of a coming great king who would bring justice and reward the righteous. He would be a king who would reign in righteousness and peace.

The prophet Malachi promised the people of Israel that a messenger would come that would prepare the way for the Lord, who would prepare the way for the great king. In ancient days when a royal procession was traveling a messenger would go before them announcing their arrival and removing any obstacles from the road they were to travel on. He prepared the way before the king.

It is believed that Malachi was the last prophet of the Lord before the birth of Christ, a span of 400 years in which God was silent. Then in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke we read the story of Zechariah, a priest, who we learn was childless. But an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that he would have a child, and that child would “go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)

We learn later in Luke 1 that Zechariah’s son was John the Baptist (Luke 1:57-66) and then Luke tells us that “Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied:

 “…And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.” Luke 1:76-77

John the Baptist was the one Malachi (and also Isaiah – Isaiah 40:3-5) spoke of, the messenger who would prepare the way before the Lord by preaching repentance to make hearts ready to receive the Messiah. Jesus himself would announce that John the Baptist was the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi and Isaiah. (Luke 7:27). John prepared the hearts of the people to receive the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Notice that Malachi 3:1 also speaks of another messenger – “the messenger of the covenant”. The promised Messiah will bring the new covenant promised by God (Ezekiel 36:25-28, Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jesus told us that he was the messenger of the covenant – a covenant written with His blood. We remember and celebrate our repentance and salvation when we prepare our hearts for communion.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” By Mary Brack Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28

Advent is a season of preparation, preparing our hearts to receive the coming king and to proclaim His coming to the world around us.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Share how you express today's word on social media using #adventwords2021. You can also share in the Words Challenge Facebook Group.

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