So, when next He comes in glory
And the world is wrapped in fear,
He will shield us with His mercy
And with words of love draw near.
“Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.
In Advent, we look forward to the celebration of Jesus’ human birth on Christmas. But in the Church, we similarly anticipate his second coming on the final judgement. It’s easy to be excited for Christmas; not so much for the thought of Judgement Day. We are afraid of the unknown.
Our hymn text offers us comfort. We are assured that, though the world fears the last day, Jesus’ death for our sins means God will preserve us as His faithful children on that Judgement Day. The sinful world will be condemned, but God will shield us and draw us near to His love forever.
Likewise, our scripture from Zephaniah promises us deliverance from the pain of this life. Whether we feel oppressed or shamed, or when we age and our bodies begin to fail, our Lord promises to gather us in and restore us as His chosen people.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to remain faithful in Your Son until the last day when You gather us all to be with You; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
(Written by Paul Gaschler, Sem IV)