v 30. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
We are now into the last few days of Jesus’ life on earth, and He sets about teaching and warning the disciples about future events. Those disciples were intent on showing Jesus the wonderful sights in the Temple surroundings (Matthew 24:1), but Jesus, with His eye on the terrible events when the Romans would flatten Jerusalem in AD 70, (Matthew 24:2) looks well into the future. His vision stretches beyond even AD 70 to a moment yet to come when He would return with power and great glory.
Here we come across a vital strand in Jesus’ teaching – He has come and yet is coming again! This is one of the messages that the Advent season announces. Yes – of course – Christmas is coming, but more, Jesus is coming again. This wonderful reality is captured in the Advent Prayer of Thomas Cranmer in 1549 as he wrote the Church of England Prayer Book. ‘Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen. ‘
Make this prayer your own during Advent this year.