Have you ever been lying in bed, or been sitting in a comfortable chair and thought its just too comfortable to get up?
I think something similar can happen to us as Christians in the West, our lives are pretty comfortable and so we don’t really have any desire for things to change.
Believe it or not that thought came to me in one word. Here it is …
It came into my mind as I watched with horror the news from Ukraine.
The word “Maranatha!” is an Aramaic word that was a key prayer and longing among the earliest Christians. It is a combination of two words “marana – tha” which literally mean “the Lord comes” or in the imperative case “Come, Lord!”
Its interesting that when the New Testament was being written in Greek, they decided not to translate MARANATHA but to keep it in the original Aramaic. I wonder if this was because it was a special prayer that Jesus had taught them as he prepared to leave the disciples and return to His Father after the resurrection?
Whenever those first Christians saw the brutality of the Romans, especially when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and killed thousands, whenever they were beaten and killed for their faith, or faced famine and hunger, they had a one word prayer.
They longed for Jesus to come and for the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom peace and justice to come in all its fullness. This one word expressed their horror at what they were experiencing and seeing in their world and their desire for Jesus to return and usher in the world to come and put everything right once and for all.
I am ashamed to say that its not a prayer that has often been on my lips. I suspect that is because my life in this world has been so comfortable, I haven’t had the desire to long for Jesus to return but that is changing.
We are promised that when Jesus returns
“He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Rev 21: 3-4
As I recoil from what I am seeing on the news in Ukraine with people dying, mourning, crying and in pain, I find myself longing for Jesus to return and put an end to it all.
I am praying with Paul “MARANATHA, COME LORD JESUS” 1 Cor 16:22
Maybe you would join me?