By Pat Kirkner
November 18, 2007
Read: Malachi 3:13-4:2a, 5-6, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Two of the readings today are from very small books in the Bible. But some pretty important stuff is said in them. In Malachi today, we heard of a warning from God that a day would come, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers shall be stubble; leaving them neither root nor branch. I like the word ‘ARROGANT’…it still has meaning; still carries some weight in its utterance; not warn out, like ‘awesome’. When you hear ‘arrogant,’ you can still imagine the type of person it was meant to impart.

Do you know anyone who is arrogant? A know-it-all; showing off their ability? Wanting you to be impressed with how important they are? Did they leave you feeling awful? Or used? Or inferior? Did they step on you – bulldozed their way through, leaving rubble and not looking back? In this quote from the Bible, it is not talking about adolescent arrogance; this is arrogance by lifestyle…. equated with evildoers. This is people who have filled themselves up with themselves…pushing God out. In Malachi, God is telling us to beware of the choices we make. For if we choose to be among the arrogant and the evildoers, we will pay a price some day. If we become full of ourselves, unconcerned with pain and ruin we may cause, and have no room for God, we will be punished.

Then in 2 Thessalonians, Paul warns some early Christians to keep away from any brother who is living in idleness; being mere busybodies; and not doing any work. I was surprised to see the word ‘busybodies’ in the bible. I thought that word was my Mom’s invention…she used it many, many times when I was growing up. So do you know any busybodies? They spend all their time judging and labeling others…don’t really do any productive work. They seem to be busy looking busy. They may offer suggestions as they flit to and fro, but never actually roll up their sleeves and do the work. They stir-up people with opinions and rumors and meanness…. always busy talking about doing but never actually doing. But in the reading from 2Thessalonians, Paul warns us, if we don’t work, we don’t eat. If we waste our life being non-productive and lazy then we become a burden instead of an asset, and we are not fulfilling God’s purpose for us.

But also in each of the readings is a positive comment: in Malachi, it concludes with “but for those who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” And 2 Thessalonians, “Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.”, these two quotes reassure us that if we have God in the center of our lives and we take care of each other and do our fair share, we will win God’s favor and we are fulfilling our purpose under heaven.

So as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, maybe you could remember to give thanks for those in your life who are teaching and telling you to be kind, and generous, and hardworking, and faithful, and loving. Thanks for all the mothers, fathers, teachers, Sunday school teachers, friends and this Christian family, who are constantly telling us not to be arrogant and evil, but to be hardworking and loving of our neighbors. Look to your left & right—-you are sharing the load of living with these people. And today we are having a baptism. We will welcome a new member into the Christian community. Welcome to Meia Ranee. When we get to the part, where the whole congregation answers, “I WILL,” I want you to say it especially loud….so she knows that you mean to become a teacher and carry forward the lessons of faith and live.


Copyright 2008-2012 Episcopal Church of the Trinity.

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