Maranatha! Our Lord, Come!

by Rev. William Weedon

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Photo of The Last Judgement frieze, Banberg, Dom St. Peter and St. Georg, by wikimedia commons

Advent celebrates three comings of our Lord: historical, mystical, and final. The hymn, “Once He Came in Blessing” (LSB 333), opens a way for us to ponder these:

Once He came in blessing,
All our sins redressing;
Came in likeness lowly,
Son of God most holy;
Bore the cross to save us;
Hope and freedom gave us.

Read Luke 4:16–21. What was our Lord’s custom on the Sabbath?

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If our Lord so honored the reading and hearing of the Word, what implications does that have for our lives?

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What book does our Lord read from, and what do the prophet’s words promise? When does the Lord teach these promises will be fulfilled?

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How were the cross and the resurrection the greatest fulfillment of this promise?

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From Bethlehem to Calvary, we see that Christ came to bring blessing. His entire earthly pilgrimage was lived as the fulfillment of the promise given to Abram (Gen. 12:1–3): By His historical coming, Christ our Lord has brought blessing to every family of the earth.

If you have a Lutheran Service Book available, read or sing stanza 2 of LSB 333. Then read John 6:35–59 and answer the following: What does Jesus call Himself? What does this mean?

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Why did Jesus come down from heaven? (vv. 38–40)? Why did the Jews grumble at Him calling Himself “bread from heaven”?

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Who has eternal life (v. 47), and what is the bread that Jesus gives for the life of the world?

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What promise does He make to whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood?

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Every time we receive the Lord Jesus in His Word, in Baptism, in Absolution, in the Supper, we receive life: the living bread from heaven! Christ’s mystical coming brings the peace of sins forgiven and the promise of deliverance from death, and helps us look forward with joy to His final coming.

Now read or sing stanza 3 of LSB 333. Then read Luke 21:25–33 and answer the following: How does our Lord describe the events surrounding His final coming?

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What is the reaction on the part of most people to the collapse of their world? What will everyone see on that day?

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What is the different reaction of Christ’s holy people when these events begin to occur? Why? How can you be prepared for that day so it will be joy for you?

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What sure thing can we hold onto when everything is falling apart?

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Christians look forward with joy to the glorious appearing of the Savior in His final coming. His appearing will bring about the end of all sin, all sorrow, and death’s ultimate destruction. As we await our final deliverance, we pray for grace to confess the good news of the Savior’s blessings and to confess to others boldly the joy of both His historical and His mystical comings:

Come, then, O Lord Jesus,
From our sins release us.
Keep our hearts believing,
That we, grace receiving,
Ever may confess You
Till in heaven we bless You.
LSB
333:4

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