Maranatha & Mission: Maranatha Moments in a World Filled with Tragedy

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Today we begin a three-part series written two of my staff—Josh Laxton and Laurie Nichols—about how to process all the tough stuff we are facing in our world today. You can hear Josh and Laurie talk about important issues like these on our new Billy Graham Center weekly podcast called Living in the Land of Oz. Today, Josh intros. He serves as Assistant Director of the Billy Graham Center.

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Years - Chris - Rice - Song - Soul

Years ago, I remember a Chris Rice song that resonated with my soul. It was called “Hallelujahs.” It described scenarios of life, like experiencing a purple sky to close the day, wading in the surf to see dolphins play, and tasting the salt while watching the dancing waves. At the end of the refrain, these words would echo throughout the song, “And my soul wells up with hallelujahs.”

Yes, there are certainly times throughout life where my soul wells up with hallelujahs—with “Praise the Lord!” However, I have also experienced my fair share of instances where my soul wells up with Maranathas!

Maranatha - Maranatha - Aramaic - Word - Corinthians

Have you ever found yourself crying out, “Maranatha?” Maranatha is an Aramaic word used in 1 Corinthians 16:22 that can mean, “Our Lord, Come!” or “Come, Lord Jesus!” Interestingly, as Trevin Wax notes, this second interpretation wasn’t widely used until the last couple of centuries. In fact, as he notes, throughout the ages, Maranatha has been mainly used as a declaration, “Our Lord has come.”

Both are appropriate, but one version finds itself on the minds and lips of people when faced with life’s pains and sufferings. This week has been one of those weeks where “Maranatha” has been uttered from the lips of many, including myself.

Maranatha - Feeds - Anniversary

I found myself crying out “Maranatha!” as I scrolled through the feeds that marked the 18th anniversary of...
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