Bags of Bran

December 11, 2012, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Bible

This is a fun time of year to love Christ. This is also a fun time of year to love the Second Coming, incidentally. Many of our hymn authors, preachers, card manufacturers, and pop singers (bless their little hearts) can’t readily distinguish between the First Advent and the Second when they encounter biblical ideas, so they just go for it. Thus some of my favorite Christmas music and Bible verses, which have little or no connection to Christmas at all, show up this time of year.

This is not a bad thing at all! When else are we going to hear seemingly the whole world sing about the Second Advent?

G. F. Handel’s iconic Messiah is a perfect example. Everybody (well, not everybody, but most people) knows that there are songs about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, as well as the Second Coming, in this work, yet it is still performed at Christmas. All of it is tremendously conceived and masterfully woven into the music. Never hurts when you see an A-grade performance of it either, as we did this year.

Think about “Joy to the World” for a moment. “Let earth receive her king.” “He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness.” “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground.” I can’t wait for these (dare I say) prophecies to come to pass! It fills my heart with longing, right there in the Mexican restaurant after hours of shopping with the ornery hordes, to hear about the Second Advent. Parking lots would not be such a mess if King Jesus were sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem!

Think about Isaiah 9:6 for a moment. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” Did you receive any cards this year with a picture of a little baby seated in the midst of shepherds, donkeys, angels, cattles, Mom+Dad, Wise Guys, and etc. that had this verse for a caption? Now look at its context:

4      For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5      For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6      For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7      There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace. Sounds like quite a world, doesn’t it? Not quite (or quite not) the one we’re living in, I should say, but certainly a world every true believer longs for.

First coming? Second coming? Celebrate both, if you believe the Scriptures.


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