Malachi 3:1–3

The Preacher:

Robley J. Johnston is General Secretary of the Committee on Christian Education in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. A native of Pennsylvania, he took his A.B. degree from Juniata College and the Th.B. and Th.M. from Westminster Seminary. He served for three years as Pastor of Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Middletown, Pennsylvania, and before that in Cincinnati, Ohio. He taught in 1949–50 at the Stony Brook School.

The Text:

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

One of Norman Rockwell’s delightful Post illustrations pictures a salesgirl in the toy department of one of our great stores. The date on the calendar is December 24; the hands on the clock point to five minutes past five. The poor clerk has slumped upon a pile of toys behind the counter—dress askew, hair disheveled, and arms limp at her sides. She has slipped off her shoes, and her eyes are rolled back as if she were to breathe her last. She has just made it through another great American Christmas!

We all know just how she feels. There are moments when we glimpse that marvelous childhood Christmas again, to which the toys are tribute, but the mad crush catches up with us and we ask, “Can I stand another year of it?” ...

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