“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’” —Revelation 11:15
A seminary professor was once asked by an inquisitive student what the “voice of the archangel” would say when the “last trumpet sounded” and Jesus returned (see I Thes. 4). The student chuckled as he asked, knowing that it was an impossible question to answer. The other students rolled their eyes and joined in the laughter.
The professor, without missing a beat, quickly said, “Enough!” The students paused, thinking that he was chiding them for excessive joking in his classroom. As the class grew silent, the professor smiled at them and said, “That is my answer. The voice will say, ‘Enough’: Enough sadness, enough heartache, enough pain, and enough death. Enough!”
As we conclude Advent and enter into the Christmas season, we not only ponder the blessed coming of the Messiah in the manger in Bethlehem, but we also look forward to the time when we will see Him face to face. When Jesus appears to all, once and for all, and all things are ultimately made new, no traces of sickness, pain, or death will remain.
Until that day, we are reminded that we, as His people, are a kind of “sneak preview” of that exciting day. Even the word that is normally associated with the “second coming” of Jesus—Parousia—is really a word that means something like “an unveiling.” The implications of this are important for us as we proclaim His good news in the meantime.
An unveiling implies that Jesus is still present, and indeed He is, through His Body, the Church, as we are led and empowered by His Spirit!
One day, Jesus will be “unveiled” or revealed to all, but until that day, we become the living, breathing proclamation and demonstration of His grace and love to the whole world.
May we bear witness not only of His first coming, but also of the day that is yet to come, as we proclaim and live out the peace, grace, and love that is meant to transform the whole world.
As we do this by the Spirit’s leadership, we become a witness to the fact that one day, “The kingdom of the world” will become “the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.”
To this broken world we will say, “Enough!” as we welcome His second coming with gladness. Amen!
Prayer for the Week:
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by Your daily visitation,
that Your Son Jesus Christ, at His coming, may find in us a
mansion prepared for Himself; who lives and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (from The Book of Common Prayer)
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.