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  • Writer's pictureFr Robert Randall McDonald Bagwell

Maranatha! He is coming!

Maranatha! Perhaps you have heard that word or seen it on the marquee of a church. It is a word that means “coming”. From the earliest beginnings of humanity, we have always had a longing from what is coming. We look forward to comings somehow in our own souls believing that what is coming will be better than what is or what has been before. Sometimes we may think it so, other times we may not. But for those who hope in the Words of Jesus that He would “come again and receive us unto Himself,” (Jn. 14:3) This is the “holy hope” of those living at the time of the “apocalypse”, the second coming, the beginning and culmination of this world’s salvific events. It is also the ultimate dread of those who have and continue to fight against God, His children and the agents of Light. Jesus said he came that we might have life, life in all of its fullness. (Jn. 10:10) That life is in this world and in the world to come. Those who have received the Lord Jesus into their souls are at the same time citizens of the world, but more importantly citizens of heaven and representing heaven to the world system that seeks to live without the sovereignty of God. This is ultimately shared during the Christmass celebration. The awesome Truth of Christmass is that God became man that man might become God as the church fathers wrote.

Advent reminds us that we exist in two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. One is about love and others who Jesus calls “neighbor”. The other kingdom is about self, power, control, wealth, coercion and sensual pleasure (food, activity and satisfaction).

Advent is about “real life”. Some have attached such principles as: “hope”, “faith” “joy “and “peace” as the meaning of the candles and the themes of the season of preparation. .

While Advent reminds us firstly of the preparation of God for the first coming of Messiah in the form of an infant, miraculously born who left an indelible mark on this planet and has shaped its history since the day He was born. This breaking of God into the human race as both God and man we celebrate at Christmas. However, Advent also reminds us of a darker side, when Jesus who loved the human race enough to die of it, will come again to judge the world that has rejected God and lives for self in self worship. We remember this in such hymns as “Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending.” That is the time of joy and sorrow when Israel will finally receive its Messiah. Paul the Apostle says that we have been grafted into the vine of Abraham. By adoption of the Father we are co-heirs with Jesus our brother. Advent reminds us that what will eventually be is “already, but not yet”. We are citizens of heaven while we live as yet to represent Our Father through His only begotten Son, Jesus. We wait in expectation. Jesus is coming again, but he is already here in our hearts through Holy Spirit. As we await the cries of the angels to announce his coming again, let us love others as He loves us and proclaim the Good News, the Best News, the Unbelievable News: Jesus is Coming Again to save to the uttermost those who call upon His Name.

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