The 2nd Sunday in Advent traditionally focuses on “The Prophets,” so today we look primarily at the message of the prophet Malachi, the last book in our Old Testament.
Malachi speaks of a messenger from God who will come as a refiner’s fire to purify God’s people; like the one who melts down a bar of silver or gold to burn out the impurities that ruin its value and leave the precious metal intact.
At one level, the messenger prophesied is John the Baptist who prepares the way for the coming Messiah as a herald or fore-runner. But at another level the messenger is Jesus the Messiah himself, who comes as the Lord and messenger of the covenant (that is the New Covenant). So in the sermon, we ask three questions of Malachi:
- Who is like a refiner's fire?
- Why do we need a refiner's fire?
- How can we experience his fire as refining?
Finally, we recognise that God in Christ has provided us a Saviour and that God in his grace is refining his people even now and wants to begin the process in us!