1 thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
JESUS WILL COME AGAIN: to bring resurrection
Jesus is coming. When the apostle Paul talks about the coming of the Lord, he uses the Greek word Parousia. This word was often associated with the coming of a king from a great military victory. He would ride into the city and all the people would flock to welcome him. They would shower him with gifts and songs as they celebrated his victory. Paul uses this word because he is acknowledging a new king: Jesus.
Jesus is the great King who comes into the world, and all of his people will flock to welcome him. We will meet him in the air, but we will not be transported to some spiritual, ethereal heaven. Instead, we will meet Jesus in the air only to usher him back to the earth where he will set up his kingdom and reign forever. He will renew the world and we will live with him.
This is the hope we cling to. Paul states that even those who are dead will raise to life again to meet King Jesus. We will celebrate the victory that Jesus has had, even over death. We anticipate this coming, this Parousia, as the final return of Jesus.
This scripture was originally written in Greek, but as more people from other cultures desired access, it was translated into their language. Soon it would be translated into Latin, and the Greek word Parousia became the Latin word Advent. May we use this Advent season to remember that whether dead or alive, we will all usher our King into his kingdom.
From Your Friends in Kid’s Klub
Make a Gift
Do your kids like to paint?
Does your teen take cool photos with her iPhone?
Does your small group like to cook or bake together?
Do you like to sew or work with wood?
This is the perfect opportunity, the week before Christmas, to take time together and make a gift for someone else. Even if all of your shopping has been “done” for a while, what a great way to embody the joy of God by creating something with your family or friends.
Think of whom in your life would especially appreciate a homemade gift. If you have children, use the opportunity to talk to them about how this process is like God giving us a gift of joy. Make the process more about who the gift is for, rather than overseeing the “quality control” of what you are making together.