Have you ever noticed how many bland and meaningless clichés we use every day when we greet one another or say good-by? Most of them are harmless, but an equal number are downright irritating. Continue reading . . .
Have you ever noticed how many bland and meaningless clichés we use every day when we greet one another or say good-by? Most of them are harmless, but an equal number are downright irritating. For example, I have in mind things like: “Hi! How are you doing?”, when in fact the person who greets you with those words probably couldn’t care less how you’re doing and is more than mildly terrified that you might even answer them with a long and drawn out sob story that will occupy the next several hours of their already busy day!
Saying good-bye can be just as bad. We hear and say things like: “Keep in touch,” while secretly hoping that they’ll do no such thing, or “We’ll get together for lunch sometime soon,” praying all the while that they won’t take you seriously. And then there is the ever-present, “Have a nice day!”
Not everyone in every age parted company like that. When Christians in the first century said good-by they uttered one word, one that was full of meaning, a word that gave expression to their heart-felt and deepest desires. That word was, “Maranatha!” It simply means, “Our Lord comes.” Or it may even be a prayer, “Come, Lord!”
I seriously doubt if “Maranatha” ever degenerated into a meaningless courtesy along the lines of our “Have a nice day.” The reason is that for believers in the first century the promise and prospect of the second coming of Christ was a vital part of their daily existence. They lived in constant expectation and anticipation of Christ’s return, and their parting word