It is the first day of 2012. I have no resolutions; I do plan to “keep on keeping on until I can’t and then I am going to die and go to heaven.” That was a quip I often gave when I was a young man, long before my close encounter with cancer. I do plan to write more and to lose more weight.Tonight, I offer a summary my sermon from this morning.
My text was Revelation 22:8-21, the closing verses of the Bible. The theme was coming together with Christ. There are two references to the nearness of Christ’s return and multiple invitations for people to come to Christ and one challenge for the “hearers” to say “come.”
We are all moving into the future; what we may not understand is that the future in rushing in upon us. The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End is coming for us. Many people have a passive approach to the future. They live as though the future is a void needing to be filled.
Some live as though they are backing into the future; their focus is on the past. Either a crisis of pain and disappointment consumes their outward focus or they have romanticized the good times of the past having convinced themselves things could never be as good as they once were.
The future is dynamic; we move into it and it moves toward us. For all who are in Christ, it is as if He has risen from His throne and He is running toward us. His hands are not empty; He comes with gifts: everlasting life, the City of God, and His righteous reign over all of Creation. He is coming to be with us, to tabernacle among us.
We are running toward Him, at least we should be. His embrace should be the focal point of our hopeful imaginations. Let us run toward Him with gifts in our hands, the gifts He has requested: our lives, our worship, our service in His name. Coming together with our Lord should be the center of our existence.
And so we say “come quickly, Lord Jesus. Bring the fullness of your Kingdom and should you tarry, come to us in our times of trouble and our seasons of joy. Come, be present with us until that day of your final appearance.” Let all who have the hope of His appearance say “come.”