Terry led the Wednesday homegroup this week and we studied together Paul’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians on the wonderful implications for us of the Lord’s second coming. How sad it is that whilst we know deep down it’s true – He will return – we often live as though it’s only a dim and distant ‘possibility’.
We thought very briefly of the early church greeting “Maranatha!” This occurs once in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 16 v 22 which is translated in the NIV “Come, O Lord.” In fact Maranatha consists of two Aramaic words which potentially mean “Our Lord has come” (i.e. a statement of historical fact), “O Lord, come” (i.e. a prayer) and “Our Lord will come” (i.e. a confident hope). Surely all three meanings are true – and indeed do we not desire an ever deepening of the Lord’s presence (coming) with us each day until the glorious day of His actual physical coming?
In times of great persecution “Maranatha!” became the common greeting of the oppressed Christians, replacing the Jewish greeting “Shalom”. In view of its depth of possible meaning it is one I believe we should increasingly adopt today.
So, Maranatha and Peace and Grace!