Marana tha, Lord Come
Marana tha, that is, Lord come. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
1 Cor. 16: 22, 23 CSV
Marana tha. I love this word and want to add it to my everyday vocabulary. It’s only used once in Scripture, even though early believers used it often in their everyday speech. It’s a two word Aramaic phrase with multiple possible meanings, but the most common translation is “our Lord, come.” Paul used it as he closed his letter to the believers in Corinth. Jesus taught his disciples to pray that His kingdom might come in what we now call The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 5:10. In addition, John ended his apocalyptic writings in Revelation with this same urgency. John records Jesus’ own words, Yes, I am coming quickly. John then adds his own urgency of Christ’s return with, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20).
I’ve found that my heart defaults more frequently to this urgent prayer whenever I feel the overwhelming presence of evil in the world around me. Daily news of bombings, shootings and cruelty to others as well as the suffering that comes through natural disasters can overwhelm and distract my heart from daily responsibilities of living. I’m tempted to despair.
I’ve experienced the privilege and the emotional burden of praying on-sight and from across-the-ocean for the countless legalized apartment complexes housing internationally trafficked women in Germany. The untold suffering of over four hundred thousand officially registered women in Germany alone is more than my spirit can bear. One day this cruelty will end when Christ returns to rule and reign and set the prisoners free. Until then we must pray and support those working to reach these women and others around the world suffering from abuse with the Gospel and with hope for a new life.*
I resist despairing of evil by requesting grace and mercy for those suffering, asking God to call out laborers to bring the light of Christ’s love and new life to them, and then asking the Lord to come quickly! I think I’ll join with the earliest believers and add the words ‘marana tha’ to my heart’s cry. Join me, won’t you?
*Kainos (kainos-ev.com) is one of many faith based ministries working to impact sex trafficking around the world.