As a convert to the Apostolic Faith, I have dealt with emotional and spiritual baggage from many sources, not the least of which is my time spent as an Evangelical who held to what is called “dispensational premillenialism”.
There was a time where my own goals in life were chided as being too “long term”, since the Lord was “coming soon”. This all consuming call to wait for the coming of Christ via the “rapture” held so much that is destructive, in the name of faith, hope and love.
It has therefore been a painful and difficult matter for me to align my heart with hopes for Christ to come again, as we profess this reality in the Nicene Creed. Praying this pre-Nativity season, however, I have felt much comfort in the particular services of the Church year.
At my home parish, we have had multiple occasions to pray what is called a Nativity Moleben. In this prayer, a key refrain is:
“Come O Jesus, Our Savior, Redeem and Save Us.”
Asking Christ to come to us in a special way is a foreshadowing of the special celebration of His Birth and Incarnation on Christmas, but this call is something where we ask Christ to enter the stable of our hearts, to cleanse us of our spiritual “manure”, so that we may be saved of our own sinfulness. In praying these words, I realize that the hope for Christ to come to save His people through the Rapture, theologically (and chronologically) incorrect as it is, touches upon a most important concept. We need God to save us at every instant of our life, and when He comes to us to save us, as an infant baby or as the judge of all Creation, all that is wrong is made right, and there is peace.
Calling for such peace and reconciliation is something which I will never regret about my time as a Protestant. But that it will happen definitely in my own heart if I believe these words this Philip’s Fast…that is something that overwhelms the heart. It does not rely on headlines changing for the worse, or Antichrists knocking down society, or Christians flying into the heavens. It rests, instead, upon my own willingness to lay down my life so that the new life of Christ will be reborn each morning, whether it’s December 25th or not.
Come O Jesus, Our Savior, Redeem and Save Us!