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.
Food for Thought:
In this passage, the writer speaks about the refiner’s fire. This is an unfamiliar image for most of us. In a refiner’s fire, the artist burns off what is not useful so that the piece of work turns out beautiful. If an artist were to put a refiner’s fire on a part of your life, what would it be? Would you like to erase one thing from your history? The wonderful news is that God is like a refiner and burns off the bad parts of our story and loves and accepts us for who we are.
Out of the embrace of mercy and righteousness, you have brought forth joy and dignity for your people, O Holy One of Israel. Remember now your ancient promise: make straight the paths that lead to you, and smooth the rough ways, that in our day we might bring forth your compassion for all humanity. In your name we pray, Amen.