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What Did the Messenger Say?

December 12, 2016

Merciful God,

you sent your messengers the prophets

to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:

Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,

that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer for Advent, United Methodist Hymnal, 201

The instructor looked grim

“Look at your Bible. Don’t open it.”

I was the only United Methodist in this group of otherwise very conservative Presbyterians. First day of this class, my third from the last class in this doctoral program.

“Just really look at it. This is your Bible.”

I knew this was my Bible. I was beginning to wonder why I was in this class.

“Notice the side opposite the spine of the binding on your Bible.”

I thought there must be a name for that outside-edge-of-the-pages-part-of-a-book. I also thought this exercise was more than a little goofy.

“See the edges of those pages in your Bible?”

Where ARE we going with this?!

“I’ll bet you can see, right there on the outside of your Bible without even opening it, where the New Testament starts. Just from the outer edges of all those pages in your Bible, it’s easy to tell where the New Testament starts.”

Well, yeah. The last part, like maybe the last quarter, of those pages are darker and more worn that the first part.

“Am I right?”

We pretty much all nodded at him.

Then, boom.

He said, “That needs to change. And it will. This is a course in Old Testament Prophecy, which you’ve been neglecting.”

Turned out to be a phenomenal course with a master teacher.

That introduction still haunts me.

I invite you to take a moment and look at the outside edge of the pages in your own Bible. Was his diagnosis of our Bibles correct for yours as well?

What might you do about that?

Remember that our Merciful God sent messengers, the prophetsto preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation

Today’s a good day to start to catch up on what those prophets said.

You might want to start with Isaiah 11:1-9. It has wonderful promises for us.

See you back here tomorrow.


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One Comment
  1. I know the people of the past waited long for many of these prophecies. I, too, have always, since elementary Sunday school, waited for the proverbial lion to lay down with the lamb. As of old, wouldn’t it be grand if that would come tomorrow in this country?


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