Encouragement From The Word, Uncategorized

Beyond despondency and despair

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.

Encouragement From The Word

Marana tha!

Marana tha. It’s not a phrase we hear tossed around much anymore, even in the church.

Marana tha. Even though it’s alluded to among the very last words of the Bible, most of us aren’t acquainted with it.

Marana tha. Interestingly, I have heard several people speak about it in the past few weeks, given all that’s going on in the world.

Marana tha. “Come, O Lord.” It’s becoming a popular prayer again.

Marana tha. This simple Aramaic prayer, uttered by Paul in 1 Corinthians 16 and hinted at by John in Revelation 22, says so much in so little space.

Marana tha. It’s a term of submission, in which we name Jesus as Lord, suggesting we ourselves are not Lord. It’s a term of hope, in which we look to the future we know God has in store for all who love him. It’s a term of desire, in which we long for Jesus to make right what the human race has made wrong. It’s a yearning for order, a yearning for peace, a yearning for justice.

Marana tha. We are invited to pray that prayer, for the restoration of God’s world and the meting of God’s justice. And while we wait for the wonderful return of our Lord, he invites us to answer our prayer with action on his behalf.

We can’t hasten the second coming. But we can help to prepare the world for it.

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.  And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed” (Titus 2.11-13, NLT).