After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1Th 4:17 NIV)
So there is no way that the old evil foe will be able to snatch away this price of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary all those still living will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. These clouds remind us also of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ascension “and so we will be with the Lord forever.” No separation or farewell ever again. Then faith will be transcended by experience, seeing, feeling, knowing. This is a most wonderful summary of our Christian hope concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory and our eternal salvation. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ! Speed up your blessed day of glorious and victorious return, when our hopes for salvation will finally be fulfilled. You have encouraged us to pray: “Thy kingdom come!” Grant us a living and strong faith that this kingdom will come to us also. In your great mercy grant that this your happy and joyful day will come soon, that we will be ready in faithful anticipation and finally realize what we have heard and believed through your most holy word and promises. Amen. (Dr. Martin Luther)
There peace shall reign in endless measure, Shall be ours throu’ eternity! No grief, no care, shall mar our pleasure, And untold bliss our lot shall be. Oh, had we wings to hasten yonder No more o’er earthly ills to ponder. To join the glad, triumphant band! Make haste, my soul, forget all sadness; For peace awaits thee, joy and gladness, The perfect rest is nigh at hand. Amen. (Johann S. Knuth, 1730)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the twenty fifth Sunday after the high holiday of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 394 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.