Malachi 3:1-4 A Time to Refine BRUMC December 6, 2009

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

He Is On His Way… and he has more than loaded his sleigh

2012: Predictions of the End… There are both camps:

No one knows but the father vs. End Times Signs Revealed Leading up..

The Winner Is… (either way: He is on his way.. so get ready.

The Cat in the Hat: What will you do while your Mother is out?

Don’t live like it doesn’t matter.. the end is far off

Don’t live like it doesn’t matter.. the end is near

Central to Advent is remembering that Christ is on the way

Christ is on the way, through us, until he comes himself

So, whether he is, or he is through us… He is coming.

Say it with me: He is Coming

Who Can Endure the.. Day of his Appearing

Now, the appeals of Santa’s coming over Jesus’ coming deals with presents

Santa promises a sack full of treats and toys for good girls and boys.

Jesus promises forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.. by far better, but hard 2sell

The promise is with Christ’s coming: will follow destruction, disaster, a division

The promise with Santa’s coming: will follow sweet dream of sugar plums &naps

The faithful task we have is to know

Not go’na mention: How many under-paid non-Christian long-hour laborers made the gifts we receive

Rather: How will we endure economic droughts, natural disasters, political “environment”

ð As people of faith: will FEAR defeat us? Will things satisfy our desires?

ð There is a certainty that troubles are bad, and worse will come:

o Are we ready? For the Little things, the big ones and the ultimate one?

o SAY IT WITH ME: ARE WE READY?

He will Sit as a Refiner..

Nothing Could be finer than to be in Alabama, on that Morning. (what about next week?)

Metals are melted to separate the waste from the prize.

Incredible Heat that melts and changes the state

Dividing Sheep and Goats seems painless, compared to becoming liquid to reveal our flaws.

Wouldn’t it be better to look in the spiritual mirror and confess our sins and brokenness?

Wouldn’t it be easier to confess our pride, greed, fear and failures now?

What can we do? Start the Refining Work.

Follow the example of John the Baptist: Hear the call to Repentance

Turning from a lump of coal into a precious diamond: Intense Pressure

Turning bits, pieces and flakes into a nugget of Gold: Concentrated Heat.

Turing a busy neighbor into a friend in Jesus Christ… neither pressure nor heat.

RATHER: RADICAL Hospitality…

Invite 12 people to the cantata next week, call them Monday.

Send them a card or note on Tuesday.

Email them on Wednesday

Send them a Christmas Card with no mention of church on Thursday

Friday call them to offer then a ride.

Saturday pray for them one-by-one, name-by-name

Sunday come to worship and wait with hope!

The next week: start on Christmas Eve Worship!

Then, just keep going until every knee is bowed and every tongue confesses and the Lord says well done good and faithful servant.. Glory! It’s good to have you home.

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