Psalm 95.1-2, 3-5, 6-7ab Resp. 1 Corinthians 16.22b
This week we have been reading the book of Revelation. We have heard Jesus say many times that he will return. Today we repeat in the Psalm, “Come, Lord Jesus!” And remember the words, “Behold, I am coming soon.” Jesus warns us that the day of his coming will surprise us unless we stay awake in our hearts. Yet here we are, almost two-thousand years since he made this promise, still waiting. Of course, we ourselves ought to be grateful. If he had come any earlier, we would not exist. But now that we have been around for awhile, the few years of our lives seem like a delay.
When is he coming? Is he really coming? Does he even exist? These doubts invade our minds. Back in the garden, God used to visit every evening, yet even that was not enough for us. We are rather demanding creatures. Like children screaming until their parents come for them, we think God is at our beck and call. Certainly Jesus delays his coming, not because he is unable to come nor because he is not there; he delays until the time is right. Just as our existence did not take place until 2000 years after his, so there are people yet to be born before his arrival.
Every day people are born, and every day people come to conversion. Jesus will come when the time is right. We pray, “Come Lord Jesus!”, but not because we want to affect the time of his coming. He will come at the perfect time whether we want it or not. We pray, constantly asking for him to come, because we need the reminder of what we are waiting for. If we forget that he will come, who will welcome him when he arrives? No matter how involved we are with the things of this world in the present moment, we should always be aware that this stuff is temporary, just until he comes. We work hard at our jobs, but just until he comes. We study and prepare for the future, but just until he comes. We carefully budget our money, but just until he comes. In the meantime, we will not have to wait very long. He might not come for ten-thousand more years, but we will go to him before too many years pass. One way or the other, we are going to see him soon.