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2018 January

The King is Coming!

The celebration of the coming of Christ as a newborn baby into this space time world is often called ‘The Advent’. It was the incarnation of the Son of God, who is, and who was, and is to come (Revelation 1:4). Yet there was no fanfare like portrayed in today’s partying and feasting during Christmas. Historically, the shepherds were humble rural folks privileged to be witnesses of Jesus’ birth. However, they recognised the significance of His arrival as it was proclaimed to them by angels. They believed their words with simple faith and spread the news widely. (Important people like King Herod could have labelled this as fake news to distract the public then from knowing the truth which, he coveted in a panic.) Then, indeed, it was good news as they were low income earners of their day, hardly regarded as of any importance by the powerful and the rich. He would understand their social dilemma. As they were probably treated as illiterates who were looked down upon and perhaps bullied without the ability to claim any human rights. Hence they rejoiced that peace was at last available to them free of charge. That the Messiah was as poor as them was a mystery to be revealed later. Meanwhile, they must see for themselves the reality of His birth.

In contrast, the wise men from the East (probably Central Asia, China or India), learned and relatively well to do, came prepared to worship and give gifts to the child born of Mary on arrival at Bethlehem. Led by a star in the East, they found Him in a manger not His own. They marvelled and presented to Him gifts worthy of a King as they understood that He was the King of the Jews! They did not despise His parents and the non-sterile surroundings. It was such an honour to have seen Him face to face that it was worth disobeying King Herod, a mere king! They seemed to have their values sorted out. Further, the priests and teachers of the law found out that the birth of Jesus was actually a historical fulfilment of ancient prophecy in Micah 5:2. Isaiah 9:1-7 indicated the same. Let us fast forward to Revelation 19:6-9 and 21:1-8 if we do not wish to miss the coming fulfilment of prophecy over 2000 years later, after Jesus came miraculously as a man, with DNA just like ours).]

During His second coming, the resurrected Jesus will come as The King of kings to inherit the Kingdom of His Father. But wait…He is no ordinary king. His Kingdom is not of this world. Although He created this world, the world generally did not receive Him. Still, many today may imagine His sitting on a throne that we are more familiar with e.g. online,  surrounded by people and objects usually portraying kings of our days e.g. a man dressed in official garments of regality with his consort beside him, a throne room with gilded furnishings and carpeted floors. But, apart from His arriving in the clouds to bring us home to the Father, we are still in the dark as to the timing of His second coming. Nevertheless, it will be a blessed grand surprise anticipated by those who are His on earth. Events such as climate change and socio-political-economic affairs will become irrelevant then.

Remember, that at the transfiguration before His sacrificial death on the cruel cross, He was seen speaking with Elijah and Moses after which the Father spoke in the presence of Peter, James and John,

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:1-8)

What an obligation and joy! His disciples were to obey the Lord Jesus because the Father said so.  Maybe we could read 1 John to better understand God’s love for us as we get ready to welcome Him back exuberantly!

Meanwhile, we do good works for the good of others as our Father loves to be good to His whole creation. Such behaviour reflects His nature in no uncertain terms. We will have become salt and light in the world while waiting for Him! We will be preparing to meet Him with grateful hearts for allowing us to receive Him face to face, not by works but by grace alone.

Finally, since we have little time to procrastinate the good works before He comes, let us ask for His “serenity to accept what is not for us to change, courage to change what is for us to do so and wisdom to know the difference (adapted from the words of an ancient saint)”. However, the reverse action is more familiar to us…no wonder then that we grow to be like Him so slowly. We are all in this dilemma together. Let us ponder and let us be still before Him.

Having done so, He commands us to repent and go strengthen our brethren in the family of God.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brethren” for the coming King of kings!   Luke 22:31-32

Reflection

  1. Meditate on Revelations 19:6-9 and 21:1-8. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern Christ’s desire for His church on earth.
  2. Are we approaching the fulfilment of prophecy of Christ’s coming again with both the eyes of faith and eyes of sight? Consider the current world events. Share and discuss in small groups. Pray and act.
  3. Am I preparing His coming again with heartfelt anticipation or with reluctance? Why?
  4. Share, pray and act with brothers and sisters in the Lord while holding each other accountable so that the preparation can be done and completed on time.

Note:

The Silk Road, A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan, Bloomsbur Paperbacks 2015. This book helps us see and understand God’s world from another viewpoint in addition to the strongly Western viewpoint. This contrasting view will cause us to be somewhat more balanced spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically in the whole wide world. Read it if you wish to broaden your view of the world in which we live. A fast read will do in order to get an overall perspective of history.