Click on this sentence and read Revelation 22:12-21.
How do you respond to that passage? How do the repeated statements concerning Christ's coming make you feel?
"Behold I am coming quickly...."
"The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come'. And let the one who hears say, 'Come'. And let the one who is thirsty come..."
He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."
Do your heart and voice echo those statements? Do you think to yourself "Yes, Lord Jesus, come soon! What is taking you so long?" Or is it more like "Whoa! Wait a minute! What's the rush? Jesus doesn't need to come quite yet." Or maybe it is some mix of the two.
Perhaps it is not wise to make too much of one's emotional reaction to a passage of scripture. Then again, perhaps John is trying to provoke our emotions to help us see where we really stand. Either way, I found my own internal reaction to this passage to be interesting as I read it this morning. There was undoubtedly a sense of hesitancy within me, a sense in which I did not share John's eager anticipation for Jesus to come. This was rather strange for me since I often preach about this coming kingdom, spend my life encouraging others to conform their lives to this coming kingdom, and have said on more than one occasion how painfully aware I am that our world is in desperate need of God's kingdom to come. Then why the hesitancy? If this is really my hope, why would I feel this urge to push Jesus' coming away, to hold it off for a little longer if at all possible?
The answers to that question probably require more searching than will happen in this blog post or even between now and next Sunday's sermon. Nevertheless, it at least reveals to me how much I still have my own schedule, my own agenda, my own goals that conflict with God's ultimate goal. Its not that my goals and aims are anti-Jesus or his kingdom. Of course, who ever thinks that their own goals and aims aren't God's? Most of my goals are supposed to be goals that I have because I want to serve God and his kingdom. I have certain tasks I have to get done this week in order to be a good pastor. I want to see our church grow in certain ways. I want to see my children grow up to be Christ-like. And if God's kingdom comes now, well...then what? Somehow all of that seems...irrelevant?
Still trying to figure out what it means to live in anticipation of this coming kingdom...