The second coming of Christ

Published December 13, 2016

(This article first appeared in the December issue of the Anglican Journal.)

In many circles of our church,outside of the liturgy itself you don’thear much about the second coming ofChrist. It is a major article of our faith, withthe same status as the birth of Christ or theResurrection. To our ancestors in the faith,the proclamation that Christ is comingagain was not just a doctrine to believe, itwas a source of constant hope and greatinspiration. Certainly, not everyone hasforgotten, but the return of Christ does not favour our preaching and teaching in theway it used to among our ancestors of faith.

Perhaps we have lost sight of it in thecomforts of our time. Perhaps it is toofearful an idea. For some, it might appeartoo fanciful. In any case, its disappearanceshould make us wonder.

For the poor, marginalized andthreatened, knowing that Christ is coming again-and, as Scripture insists,soon or perhaps quickly-has always been a cherished hope, perhaps even anexperience-some claim they experiencethe first movements of Christ’s secondcoming, here and now. We can see it in the Eucharist; we know it in justice andpeace. These realities should also make
us wonder, since the most damaging anddangerous reason for not holding fast andclose the second coming is that we are toocomfortable and too powerful in this life tolook for another.

Christ our hope, regardless of our statein life, tells us 1) to work for the good, as ifeach day is our last, and 2) to let hope for anew day, when all will be made right, guideall of our actions in life


  • Mark MacDonald

    Mark MacDonald was national Indigenous Anglican bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada from 2007 to 2019, and national Indigenous Anglican archbishop from 2019 to 2022.

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