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Music For the Soul
Devotional: September 24th
The two halves of this verse do not refer to the same persons or the same "coming." The first portion as an invocation or a prayer; the second portion is an invitation or an offer. The one is addressed to Christ, the other to men. The commentary upon the former is the last words of the Book, where we find the seer answering the promise of his Master: "Behold! I come quickly!" with the sigh of longing: "Even so! Come! Lord Jesus." And in precisely a similar fashion the bride here, longing for the presence of the bridegroom, answers His promise: " Behold, I come quickly!" which occurs a verse or two before, with the petition which all who hear it are bidden to swell till it rolls in a great wave of supplication to His feet.
And then with that coming, another " coming" is connected. The one is the coming of Christ to the world at last; the other is the coming of men to Christ now. The double office of the Church is represented here, the voice that rose in petition to Heaven has to sound upon earth in proclamation. And the double relation of Christ to His Church is implied here. He is absent, therefore He is prayed to come; but He is in such a fashion present as that any who will can come to Him. He will come again; but ere He does, and because He will, men are invited to approach Him now, and if we do, to our hearts, too. His appearing will be a joy and not a terror. And the sweetness of His presence with us amidst the shows of time will be perfected by the glories of our presence with Him when He comes at last.
Christ has come, Christ will come. These are the two great facts from which, as from two golden hooks, the whole chain of human history hangs in a mighty curve. The one fills all the past, the other should brighten all the future. Memory should feed upon the one, hope should leap up to grasp the other. And so closely are these two connected as that the former is incomplete and ineffectual without the latter. He has come, therefore He will come.
And that coming is to be in bodily form, even as the angels said: "This Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go." What was the likeness? The differences are enormous: He came in weakness; He will come in power. He came in humiliation; He will come in glory. He came to redeem; He will come to judge. But the similarity is this, that as in true bodily form He truly entered into human conditions, and walked amongst men upon earth, having a local habitation and a name amongst us, so He comes again in no metaphor, in no ideal fashion, but in simple corporeal reality, once more manifest and visible amongst the children of earth.
He came in obscurity, stealing into the world with but a handful of poor shepherds for the witnesses. He will come, "and every eye shall see Him." He will come in a body no less truly human, no less really corporeal, but in a body of glory, which shall fitly manifest and ray out the indwelling of Divinity. And He comes for judgment, and He comes to perfect the union between Himself and all humble hearts that love Him and trust Him.
'Music For The Soul' daily readings for a year from the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., selected and arranged by the Rev. Geo. Coates, published by A.C. Armstrong and Son, 51 East Tenth Street, (1897). The original text is in the Public Domain and this electronic version is free for anyone without cost or obligation. This a year long daily devotional was written by the Rev. Alexander Maclaren over 100 years ago. This Scottish pastor had a heart to follow Jesus and a love for souls.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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