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The word “maranatha” is a Syriac expression that means: “our Lord comes.” It was used as a greeting in the early church. When believers gathered or parted, they didn’t say “hello” or “goodby” but “Maranatha!” If we had the same upward look today, it would revolutionize the church. O that God’s people had a deepening awareness of the imminent return of the Savior!

While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, “It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!” They replied, “We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, ‘The boss may come today.’”

The hymn writer Horatius Bonar exhorted us “to be ready for the last moment by being ready at every moment…so attending to every duty that, let Him come when He may, He finds the house in perfect order, awaiting His return.” The trump may sound anytime. How important for us as Christians to be “packed and ready to go!”

As you leave home today, don’t say goodby—say “Maranatha!”

Our Daily Bread

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