Life on the Line: Malachi wakes us up to God

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Eugene Peterson introduces the Book of Malachi with the following words: “In a time of crisis everything, absolutely everything, is important and significant. Life itself is on the line.  No word is casual, no action marginal. And almost always, God and our relationships with God is on the front page. But during the humdrum times, when things are, as we tend to say, ‘normal,’ our interest in God is crowded to the margins of our lives and we become preoccupied with ourselves. Religion during such times is trivialized into complaining, treating worship as hobby or diversion or managing our personal affairs for our own convenience. The prophecy of Malachi is made to order for just such conditions. Malachi creates a crisis at a time when we are unaware of crisis. He wakes us up to the crisis of God during the times when the only things we are concerned with is us. He keeps us on our toes, listening for God, waiting in anticipation for God, ready to respond to God, who is always coming to us.”

This fall we will be gathering in small groups around the Book of Malachi. We will hear from God…and He will say that despite the appearance of favor and prosperity in our lives, there are issues below the surface that have the power to tear us apart. We must recognize that our lives are on the line, and turn back to God.

One of the ways you can do this is by folding into a small group. In the coming weeks we will each have that opportunity. Here is a schedule for our small group series this fall:

  • September 14-15, Malachi 1:1-5 -- Ignorance on the Line (How has God loved us?)
  • September 21-22, Malachi 1:6-8 -- Honor on the Line (Where is God’s honor?)
  • September 28-29, Malachi 1:9-14 -- Acceptance on the Line (Will God accept us?)
  • October 5-6, Malachi 2:1-9 -- Leadership on the Line (How will God judge us?)
  • October 12-13, Malachi 2:10-12 -- Marriage on the Line (How have we broken faith?)
  • October 19-20, Malachi 2:13-16 -- Marriage on the Line (Why doesn’t God listen?)
  • October 26-27, Malachi 2:17-3:5 -- Justice on the Line (Where is the God of justice?)
  • November 2-3, Malachi 3:6-12 -- Distance on the Line (How are we to return?)
  • November 9-10, Malachi 3:13-18 -- Profanity on the Line (What have we said against God?)
  • November 16-17, Malachi 4:1-6 -- Judgment on the Line (When will God judge?)