Read Malachi 3:1-4

from Rev. Darrell Pierce, Clarksburg

Advent is a time in which we look forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. However, any real celebration, spiritual or worldly, requires preparation. My wife and I had a wonderful Golden Anniversary celebration in 2014, but it was wonderful only because of a tremendous amount of preparation.

Malachi announced the coming of the Messiah and he could almost see the people beginning to celebrate, but he said, “Hold on! Are you willing to go through the refiner’s Fire?”

John the Baptist was the messenger to whom Malachi looked forward. John identified his mission as preparing the way for the Lord. His way of doing that was to preach repentance and a change of life style that emphasized that same repentance to which Malachi urged his listeners.

The birth of Christ is something fantastic to celebrate, but to really experience it in its true spirit requires spiritual preparation. Advent reminds us of that need and gives us time to accomplish it. Let’s have a wonderful celebration!

Jesus, our Savior and Lord, help us to make this Advent special. Help us to be willing to make any change or any sacrifice that will help to bring that about. May we be not only the people of God but also the prepared people of God.