Much to Marvin the Martian’s dismay, there was no big earth-shattering kaboom. The Mayan calendar which may or may not have only gone up to a certain date didn’t predict the end of the world like people thought it did. We’re still here. There’s no sulfuric rain, no zombies, no world-wide flood, and no meteor on a collision course with earth.
Perhaps the “please don’t end the world” prayers were answered. God spares the world His judgement a little while longer. But in the church, throughout this Advent season, we’ve been praying for the end of the world. The second coming of Jesus and the coming of the new heaven and new earth.
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
December 17th – 23rd we pray the Great “O” Antiphons at Vespers. Each of them pray for the Messiah to come: to deliver us, to rescue us out of darkness and the shadow of death, and to save us. We pray for the end of the world, the end of sin, the end of death, the end of our sinful nature.
Those end of the world prayers are answered as well! We celebrate the coming of Christ in the flesh in just a few days during the feast of Christmas! Christ took on human flesh in order to ransom those captive to sin, death and the devil here. He came to bring the end of the world as we know it. He comes each Sunday in that very flesh and blood. Christ feeds us with himself in His Supper for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life! Christ, the angels, the archangels and the whole company of heaven come down to meet earth in that final judgement day in the Divine Service. You are judged with the words “The Lord is your righteousness.” “I forgive you all your sins.” “Drink of it all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” “It is finished.”
The world ends! You die! You are raised a new man! Those “come Lord Jesus” prayers are answered.
We truly do live in the Last Days. We await the bridegroom and He comes. We enter the wedding hall to eat the Lord’s Supper and are declared righteous in Christ.
Your prayers are answered. It is the end of the world and that’s not such a bad thing.