And I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14) Into this promise, the Savior comes again. Not like the incarnation in the womb of the Virgin or even the Beloved who receives palms and hosannas. No, this time He comes as Judge. That coming will not be like the hidden who must be revealed but the Mighty One who cannot be ignored. We want a clue to the hidden but Jesus gives us the obvious -- He is the Coming One just as He is the One who came. He will not be different when He comes again in His glory but He will not come as first He came. This time judgment is on His agenda. Everything that Jesus talked about—tribulation, deception, temptation, and persecution—would now befall His disciples and all those who wore His name. Mighty things would be seen -- the destruction of Jerusalem to prefigure His tabernacling with His people and as promise of His return to bring all things to their perfect consummation. This is not the beginning of the end but it is the end of the beginning. The times are in His hands. What seems obvious as a signal to the end prefigures the return of Jesus in His glory but does not put a date to the mystery. What we do know is this -- all these things would come before the end but they are not the end. Meanwhile, amid all of these signs, from generation to generation, Jesus calls His followers to wait and to wait patiently and to wait confidently.
Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
1 Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
once for ev'ry sinner slain;
thousand, thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy!
Christ returns and endless reigns.
2 Ev'ry eye shall now behold him
robed in glorious majesty;
those who set at naught and sold him,
pierced and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall their true Messiah see.
3 Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers.
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture,
gaze we on those glorious scars!
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow'r and glory,
claim the kingdom as thine own.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone!
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