Thinking of Christmas, I’ve always been intrigued by two verses in the last chapter of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) and two verses that are chronologically at the beginning of the New Testament (Luke 1:16-17). These verses say something very powerful about the coming of Jesus.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” . . . Malachi 4:5-6
“And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:16-17
There is much that can be said about these two passages, but here I offer two quick points. In the connection between Elijah and John the Baptist we see God’s sovereign hand in history. He gave promises through Malachi about a coming messenger-prophet and fulfilled them in John the Baptist who came almost 500 years later preparing the way for Christ. Secondly, we see the redemptive mission of this messenger-prophet –of John who came in the spirit and power of Elijah. The mission was to turn God’s people to the Lord by turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. The reconciliation of fathers to children and children to fathers signifies a return to the Lord. These passages tell us that God’s work in the life of a parent and child are reflected in their home. God’s call to all of us is to turn to Him, the Lord our God –and this turning will be reflected in the life of our families. As we approach Christmas and remember the coming of Christ and the prophet who prepared the way for Him, may our hearts turn to our children, to our homes, and God’s purpose within our homes. Merry Christmas to You!