Daily Worship

Refining and purifying

Albert Bogle February 04, 2021 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
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Malachi 3: 1-4 (NIVUK)

1 ‘I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LordAlmighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

In our reading today the prophet describes the coming of the Messiah like that of a fire purifying the people of God in the place of worship. In the gospels we see Jesus fulfilling this description. He symbolically purifies the temple removing the traders from the precinct and seeking to re-establish the temple as a place of prayer. It seems that throughout scripture the people of God are called time after time to have their worship practices renewed and purified.

God often uses trials and struggles to bring about purified lives and hearts. In this period of change and reconstruction and distancing from the habits of routine and predictable worship might God also be refining and purifying our hearts so that we can see what really matters?


Almighty Everlasting God
We have waited in silence
Longing for you to appear
To surprise us
We have proclaimed your glory
Longing to behold it 
Only to repeat what we have heard 
from others of past generations
Reconnect our understanding 
For we have become disconnected 
Distanced and dried up 
Remove our doubt
Revive our spirits
We have become tired looking for you
In the unexpected place
We have searched in the ordinary space
And it has remained ordinary
We have prayed that we might see your face 
And we have only faced ourselves 
In our weariness of heart,
Hear our prayer
Be merciful in your coming
And gracious in your forgiving

Come purifying fire, Spirit of God
Burn up the weariness in our lives
Make us into a holy people
Holy and approachable
Loving and compassionate
Living out justice and mercy
Full of laugher and joy
Because your presence fills our heart