We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16)
A few years ago I, and a crowd of thousands of others, attended the Trooping the Colour in London which is an elaborate ceremony that has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. Regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies perform the ceremony, watched on by Her Majesty The Queen as well as senior members of The Royal Family. After the ceremony, the Royal Family return in regal, horse drawn carriages to Buckingham Palace. Following a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop in Green Park, The Queen leads the Royal family on to the palace balcony for a Royal Air Force flypast. She then greets hers thousands of well wishers. It is breathtaking and spectacular.
In today’s text, we read of another magnificent event, though yet to take place. The words that Paul uses here are from a Greek term that was commonly used to describe the coming of the emperor to a city, accompanied by great pomp and celebration. When Christ returns, it will be a time when we will honour the Heavenly King, the One whose majesty eclipses all earthly kings and princes. There will be celebrations more elaborate than anything ever witnessed on earth. It will be a time of unrivalled magnificence and splendour.
But, do you really want to wait until that wondrous hour arrives to honour God? Do you not, even now, feel a desire rising up in your hearts to show your love, worship, and loyalty to Him? Why wait until that final day? Why linger for the final trumpet call of God to sound forth before we honour Him? Surely there is a trumpet call in our hearts today, summoning us now to honour the King; and we can indeed do so.
We honour Him when we tell the truth rather than a lie; we show our love for Him when we are content when others receive the recognition that was due to us; we demonstrate our allegiance to Him when we speak a kind word in reply to a cutting comment; we show our esteem for Him when we don’t take part in conversations that belittle others; we honour Him when we speak in defence of the defenceless. Our whole lives can be be spent honouring our King.
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