Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wake, Awake for Night is Flying

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. I Thess., 5:1-2

Wake, Awake! The bridegroom is here! Don’t you look forward to that day, when we’ll hear that call, and arise to meet Christ, our bridegroom? This wonderful Advent hymn helps us look forward to that day, when we, with the choir immortal, will gather round His dazzling throne.

In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus reminds us that we don’t know the day nor the hour of our Lord’s returning. Through this story, He tells us to be ready: to have our lamps trimmed and oil with us, so we will be ready to meet Christ. In the story, five of the virgins forgot to bring oil. They had to go buy some, and by the time they got back, the bridegroom had come, and taken those who were ready into the wedding feast, and SHUT THE DOOR. The five who weren’t ready did not get in.

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.

Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
Matthew 25:1-13

Awake, Jerusalem, at last! Will you be ready when Jesus comes again?

"There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:25-28

Straighten up, lift up your heads, your redemption is drawing near! That is great news. I am looking forward to that day when we will rise from our gloom and see our Lord come down all glorious, in truth victorious. Come, Lord Jesus!

Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying
Words by Philipp Nicolai
Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth

Wake, awake, for night is flying;
The watchmen on the heights are crying:
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices
And at the thrilling cry rejoices;
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past;
The Bridegroom comes, awake;
Your lamps with gladness take;
Alleluia! And for His marriage feast prepare
For ye must go and meet Him there.

Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious.
Her Star is risen, her Light is come.
Ah come, Thou blessed One, God’s own beloved Son:
Alleluia! We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee.

Now let all the heavens adore Thee,
And saints and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone;
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where we are with the choir immortal
Of angels round Thy dazzling throne;
Nor eye hath seen, nor ear hath yet attained to hear
What there is ours, but we rejoice and sing to Thee
Our hymn of joy eternally.

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