Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Maranatha" μαρὰν ἀθά

     I was reading in 1Corinthians 16 and I came across the word "Maranatha" so I decided to do a little word study. It's an Aramaic phrase usually partnered with "Aranatha Maranatha" and means "Our Lord Come" or "Our Lord has come" Some say it was a Christian greeting in the early church and others say it was a phrase for church discipline; calling on the Lord's return and judgement.
I found this picture when I googled "Second Coming"
and I think it's a rather humorous yet piercing representation
of how we've made the Lord's return all about us. I don't
know about you but as much as I look forward to, wait for
and pray for His return; I doubt I'll look like this
when He does.

     I can't help but think back to Patong where it seemed the only phrase I could ever articulate, amidst the overwhelming blackness, was , "Jesus please come back." In those moments I wasn't calling on the hope of the Lord's joyous return or the judgement of His sword but on both; they can't be nor should they be separated. Our hope is not just that He comes and "we get to go to heaven" but our hope is that He's going to make everything right when He does come.
     How could I have been so selfish all those years and only have occasionally remembered my "wish" for Jesus to come back only to relieve my own pain and suffering? I'll never forget the powerful thud I felt when I heard a Thai believer whisper, "Jesus please come back." And knowing that she understood it far better than I had.
     I don't think we don't understand Aranatha Maranatha and I don't think we understand the Second Coming; but as Easter approaches I pray that we all come to have a permanent longing for it as we are reminded.

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