category: Advent Advent Reflection: Day 11 By Gardner-Webb University On November 12, 2020 Wednesday, December 9 Malachi 2:10-3:1; Luke 1:5-17 In a world painted by panic, politics, and a pandemic identified as COVID–19, it is safe to say that the year of 2020 will not be soon forgotten. One of the crucial steps in decreasing the spread of COVID–19 is washing your hands. This pandemic has revealed our struggle as God’s children to thoroughly wash our hands of “unfaithfulness” that keeps our relationship with God estranged. Normally the way we treat others we see daily is a mere reflection of how we treat God whom we have never seen. COVID–19 has exposed how poorly we treat other human beings. As children of God, we are not here to idolize a political party or to promote our personal agenda, but to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth as we embody the Kingdom of God. In our scripture reading today, Malachi reminds us of how God values relationships. The key to a relationship is the vow made and the commitment to remain faithful to that vow. God despises unfaithfulness. Although Malachi focuses upon marital relationships, the sin of unfaithfulness goes beyond the institution of marriage. God’s character is about righteousness and justice. It matters not about biases, platforms, by–laws, or constitutions, but what is right and just about an institution established by God. Faithfulness in relationships (e.g. marriage, family, occupation) says a lot about our relationship with God, brings healing to the family, shows society the difference between light and darkness, and conforms us to the image of God. When we disregard faithfulness in relationships ordained by God, it breaks the vow, brings harm, and exposes disobedience. God is a promise keeper, and faithfulness is the open door to those promises. Beyond panic, politics, or a pandemic, God never gives up on the plans he has for our life. After being crushed over and over by disappointment, I am sure Zechariah had given up on the idea of being a father, but God never gave up on the plan he had for Zechariah, Elizabeth, and their future son named John. In this season of uncertainty, God’s promises of righteousness and justice are certain. Faithfulness is the key! So, let us wash our hands of “unfaithfulness” that keeps our relationship with God estranged. M. Lamont Littlejohn, Jr.Servant Pastor/Teacher at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby, N.C.