On that day Jesus Christ, the Lord comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (2Th 1:10 NIV)
Yes, Jesus Christ, the Lord and King of kings is coming from the heavens. He came from the earth and will return to the earth. He left the earth to make all heavens his own. He’s returning to earth to make it entirely his own too and to make it his residence and abode of eternal glory. He’s coming home and returning into his own. He’ll cleanse it, like he did with the temple in Jerusalem ages ago. He’ll carry out this mission and remain with his people forever. Until then we lift our eyes and look out for him constantly. Then however we will fix our eyes on him alone – our Lord and Saviour.
Is he coming alone or with company? He’s coming in the accompaniment of all his angels and he does so “to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.” This surely is going to be the most glorious occasion ever – just as the destruction of the evil ones is going to be the most frightful and terrible too. All this is coming soon and it will affect us – either for good or for ill. Therefore be alert and awake and continue to pray: Lord, have mercy on us for Christ’s sake! Amen.
Lord, we are waiting for your eternal kingdom. We are waiting for the new earth and the new heavens that you are about to create in righteousness and holiness. We are waiting for the future city of God, in which we will find no suffering, no harm or crying, and death will be swallowed by victory and glory. Lord, come and end all injustice and sinfulness, all violence and suffering, all pain, illness and dying. Strengthen the little faith in us that we trust the coming of your holy kingdom. Build and expand hope in our hearts, we that are tired, close to despair and giving up. Grow love in our hearts and make it flourish vigorously so that we would strengthen each other, support and help each other on the way. Lord, grant that we prepare your way appropriately and let your kingdom come to us and soon. Amen. (Mecklenburg-Schwerinsches Church Book 1927)
Rise, my soul, to watch and pray, from thy sleep awaken; Be not by the evil day unawares be taken. For the foe, well we know, oft his harvest reapeth, While the Christian sleepeth.
Watch against the devil’s snares lest asleep he find thee; For indeed no pains he spares to deceive and blind thee. Satan’s prey oft are they who secure are sleeping And no watch are keeping.
Watch! Let not the wicked world with its power defeat thee. Watch lest with her pomp unfurled she betray and cheat thee. Watch and see lest there be faithless friends to charm thee, Who but seek to harm thee.
Watch against thyself, my soul, lest with grace thou trifle; Let not self thy thoughts control nor God’s mercy stifle. Pride and sin lurk within all thy hopes to scatter; Heed not when they flatter.
But while watching, also pray to the Lord unceasing, He will free thee, be thy Stay, strength and faith increasing. O Lord, bless in distress and let nothing swerve me From the will to serve Thee. (Johann Burghard Freystein 1671-1718 tr Catharine Winkworth, 1827-1878)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the twenty sixth Sunday after the high holiday of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 403 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.