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Old Testament

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Jer 33:14-16 IThess 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36
12/9/18 Baruch 5:1-9 or
Malachi 3:1-4
Phil 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6 
12/16/18 Zephaniah 3:14-20;
Isaiah 12:2-6
Phil 4:4-9 Luke 3:7-14 
12/23/18 Micah 5:2-5a (5:1-4a) Heb 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-55 
12/30/18 ISam 2:18-20,26 Col 3:12-17 Luke 2:41-52 
1/6/18 Isaiah 60:1-6 Eph 3:1-12 Matthew 2:1-12 

Cartoon Gospels Cartoon
for Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Luke 3:1-6

Don't Build on a Crooked Path

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius [...] the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

Pass the Locust, Honey.

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It isn't always easy being called into God's service.

Cartoon Old Testament Cartoon
for Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Malachi 3:1-4

Silver and Gold!

1 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. 2 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; 3 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. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Better Late Than Never


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Malachi 3:1-4 comes at the end of a long argument between God and the people about God's justice. In the context with this and the post-exilic period in general, Malachi's message is about a messenger who will purify the temple priests and restore worship to it's rightful role. The refining process for metals is used elsewhere in the Old Testament (e.g. Jeremiah 9:7 and Zechariah 13:9) as an analogy for purification. The Christian tradition has also interpreted it messianically with the messenger either being John the Baptist (Mark 1:2 combines this text with Isaiah 40:3 to introduce John the Baptist) or Jesus, hence its use as an Advent reading. In the process prophesying, Malachi comes very close to discovering the formula for a line of best selling self-help books.

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