Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.
– Stanza 1 from Lo! he comes with clouds descending by John Cennick, 1752
As the season of Advent comes to a close, I think of these words of my favorite Advent hymn. These words elicit a mighty, triumphant return of Christ in the fulfillment of God’s kingdom on earth. These words, inspired by the words of the book of Revelation, describe Christ’s return as a mighty King arriving in pomp and circumstance. These images have long been used to beautifully describe God’s ultimate return to the earth. Christians collectively long for the day when the sin and heartache of our world will fade away, and the glorious, endless peace of God’s reign will take hold. Regardless if you believe that Christ’s return will happen just like the words of this hymn explain, one thing is for sure. When the Kingdom of God does come to earth, and Christ’s Way is the way of all humanity, throngs of angels will rejoice in heaven. All of creation will be sanctified. All people will walk with integrity and justice will flow like a mighty stream. When that day does come, may we all in unison shout ALLELUIA to our God! Come, Lord Jesus, come!