It seems we learn every day of another tragedy taking place in the world. That, combined with the state of morality, and the debacle that is the US election process – to which the whole world is subjected through the media – can leave us pretty despondent. But Christ-followers are left with an alternative beyond despondency and despair.
There is an exclamatory remark that appears obviously only once in the New Testament, but is alluded to in a second place. It is three simple words, and those three simple words give hope to the people of God around the world, no matter how trying the circumstances. In 1 Corinthians 16.22, the apostle Paul writes to the church, “Come, O Lord!”
In Revelation 22.20, John is told by Jesus, “Yes, I am coming soon.” John replies, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
The language of Jesus’ heart, Aramaic, has a term for this exclamatory remark: Marana tha. We sometimes make it one word and say, “Maranatha!” By this we express a wish for Jesus to return, to consummate the world in his way.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been using that term quite a lot lately. When I look at the world around me, I long for Jesus to bring his Kingdom. Are we ready for that?
To be ready for Jesus to bring his Kingdom means to love and trust him by faith, to live to please him, and to bear witness among others to his saving work on the cross. Why? Because we want “Maranatha!” to be good news for everybody.
No matter what terror ISIS may leave in its wake; no matter which among the poor choices wins the US Presidential election; no matter what tragedy we learn about in the news – it will all pale in comparison to the second coming of Jesus, who will come to establish his Kingdom.
Marana tha. Come, O Lord. We can’t know when he will come. We can only be ready. May he come soon.