1 “See, 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.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
The Jesse tree ornament for today is a symbol of the Sun… and denotes a play on words, “the Son”. The scripture verse today gives us the other side of the coin of His coming, the second coming. This was difficult to understand, that there would be a grace period of salvation for mankind reaching from the time Jesus first came as a baby in a manger to this time and into the future. The hour that He comes once again will fulfill the rest of the scriptures.
The Day of the LORD
1 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3 Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the LORD Almighty.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
Beware when you see someone who turns the hearts of parents and children away from each other: that someone is bringing a curse.
Jesus came to bring a wholeness to our relationships, but it won’t come either automatically or necessarily easily. In the dark and drear of winter nothing is more welcome than a sunny day with the warmth of the rays shining upon you. That is way the Lord wishes to come into our lives… like the warmth of a sunny day, not the holocaust blast of a judgment. In its day it will wipe out all memory of former things, and for those who trust in Him the Lord is as “the sun of righteousness …with healing in its wings”.
The Sun can bring healing, and that is what Christ desires to bring into our lives. Sunshine is known to destroy fungus and bacteria, to alleviate jaundice in newborns, to help heal skin maladies, and counter ill effects of light sensitive mental depressions. The stripes of Jesus does so much more in us, and for us.
The candy cane is the symbol of the stripes of Jesus…pass some around and enjoy these pictures.
More about Christmas symbols