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?)

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