Friday, February 27, 2009

Malachi's Lenten Message

"For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.
You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ By saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.’ Or by asking, ‘Where is the God of justice?’
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.
Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished. Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’" - Malachi 2.16-3.8

A few things stick out to me here. God is talking about St. John the Baptist obviously with the messenger who purifies, and the offering of Judah as Christ's crucifixion - that's the offering - Or the Eucharistic Sacrifice (because it says it is of Old, and in Mal 1, it has the verse about a perfect sacrifice).... In any case, the Sacrifice of the cross and the sacrifice of the mass are the same sacrifice, so it's still being presented which makes sense of the verse, or perhaps it is just that it stretched through all time past and future. But again as John judged the hypocritics of his day as Christ did, so the final judgment is foreseen here where some are purified (purgatory for Catholics, whatever the hell the Orthodox believe in -they probably all disagree-, or sanctification for Protestants).

I like that verse about the Lord not changing and therefore the true covenant people will not change. So the Church being the new israel in the covenant will be purified - but they will be saved - and they will be cleansed of sin and Christ's pure sacrifice will be theirs which will please God.

At least that's what I got from it. I'm probably going to get destroyed by the covenant theologians wanting the great wall of China between OT and NT covenants, and the Catholics who try to make everything a proof-text for later developed doctrine.

Whatever..... what it practically means is God is kicking my ass right now with bad stuff that's happened this week and i need some explanation so i go back to the scary part of the Old Testament which makes more sense than this week's readings of "In him (Christ) every one of God's promises is a yes" -which sounds nice, but isn't really true, as I'm still praying for what I've been praying for for the last 3 years, etc.

Hence why the Old Testament and Lent makes sense. God obviously still has discipline and wrath to dish out, even to his kids. But eventually we'll be able to say that this cosmic child abuse 'made us the men we are today'. Blah blah C.S. Lewis problem of pain....blah blah Ken Gire Sanctification... blah blah life sucks at times.

yep. good thing everyone stopped reading this blog. heh.

I'll close on a good quote from Rabbi Abraham Heschel (who the emergents all love): God remains unreal to those who view him as anything less than a consuming fire. (or something like that.)

Now off to class.


  1. He definitely still has punishment for both His and those apart from Him, Hebrews 12 reads clear to me on that bro...

    "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood...It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons."

    I hope the next few weeks do you well...