At two degrees north of the Arctic Circle, in Inuvik, Canada, the sun sets for the last time below the horizon in early December. After nearly 30 days of darkness, the return of the sun is celebrated around January 6th at the annual Inuvik Sunrise Festival, with food, dance, music, snow carving, and winter activities.
1 John 2:8b – The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. (NIV)
While I was watching a documentary about the Sunrise Festival, a thought-provoking comparison popped into my mind. Great crowds of people were gathered together with upraised arms. All eyes were glued to the sky. Some were singing, while others were dancing, leaping, and cheering. They were all waiting breathlessly, expectantly, joyously for the moment that they had looked forward to for so long, the moment when the sun would return and peek above the horizon. Soon the frigid winter would release its icy grip, and the long darkness would be over. The sun would be back on its throne and reigning once again.
It struck me, that in the Bible, there is an amazing parallel to the return of Son of God.
Luke 21:27 – And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor). (AMPC)
What a day of rejoicing that will be for those who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ, Who came to this earth to redeem mankind through the sacrifice of His life.
It is impossible to imagine how we will feel if we are privileged to be part of the crowd standing there as we hear His voice calling us up.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! (AMPC)
Then, as we gather together with Jesus and His bride, the church, in the heavenly dining hall for the marriage supper of the Lamb, our feasting and rejoicing and singing and praising and thanksgiving will be far beyond our wildest imaginations.
I realize that the celebration of the return of the sun that I watched on the television was a very important highlight for the Inuit people of the Arctic, yet it pales into insignificance in light of the day of the return of the Son of God.
None of the Inuit ever doubt that the sun will return, because of their personal experience, so they watch with joyous expectation. Similarly, we who have a personal experience with the Son of God have no doubt that He will return, and it could be at any moment. So we, too, watch with joyous expectation, and we say, "Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that the eyes of many people who do not believe that the Son of God will return to this earth, even though He promised that He would come back, may be opened. Heavenly Father, help us to rise to Your challenge of making disciples of all the nations. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.
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