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Maranatha

Maranatha

Chuck Fromm

The Five Words of Worship provides a filter to view worship songs  through and aid you in preparing a balanced worship service. Here’s a  helpful guide to assessing which word of worship best describes a song.  (Of course there are many songs and psalms that include all of the words  in varying combinations, but usually one is predominant.) 

Does it celebrate Christ’s coming, His coming again or His kingdom? Maranatha 

MARANATHA

 The rich meaning of Maranatha, which can be translated as both  “Our Lord Has Come,” and “Our Lord, Come,” encompasses a sense  of waiting, of hope, and of warning, uniquely expressing the ongoing  experience of God’s people in their expectation of the coming Savior. 

The meaning of Maranatha can be interpreted two ways. The first  is to render the word as “maran-atha,” meaning “Our Lord has come,”  which suggests both the incarnation of Christ and His presence with His  people through the Spirit. When the Early Church gathered to partake of  the Lord’s Supper, they remembered the Savior’s death and celebrated  His great victory in resurrection with the shout, “Maranatha!” By doing  so, they were declaring His coming in the flesh, His presence in the Spirit,  and His imminent return.  

The word may also be derived from “niarana-tha,” meaning “Our Lord,  come!” In this context Maranatha is a shout of hope by the people of God  in joyful expectation that soon the risen Savior will return to establish His  Kingdom. In this sense, the people affirm the words of Jesus in the Book  of Revelation. “Behold, I am coming soon.” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20), to which  the Apostle John responds, “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”  

Similarly, Maranatha encompasses three distinct time frames. First,  it exhorts us to think back to the very earliest indications in the Old  Testament promising a coming Messiah, a prophetic hope that weaves  itself throughout the entire course of the Hebrew Scriptures. It is Maranatha  that announces the triumphant theme that our Lord is coming. 

It also speaks powerfully into the present, as a word of worship that  leads us to contemplate the death of the Savior Jesus, and to express  our faith in His presence among us, especially as congregations gather  for communion. In this context, Maranatha signifies the realization of the  hope of salvation.  

Additionally, it projects our expectation of His coming Kingdom,  signifying the earnest hope of Christians for the return of our Savior and  the establishment of His Kingdom.  

In all its varied meanings, Maranatha evokes both the incarnation of  Christ and His presence with His people through the Holy Spirit. It is,  consequently, not a word to be taken lightly. The return of the Savior as  King will bring blessing to believers, but ruin and destruction to those who  are enemies of the gospel. It is a word of worship uniquely fraught with  reverence and awe. Maranatha is found only one time in the Bible (1 Cor.  16:22), when the Apostle Paul condemns those who continue to reject  

the love of Jesus. The Greek word he uses is “anathema” meaning “let  him be accursed,” followed immediately followed by “Maranatha!” and a  blessing of grace.  

Maranatha thus separates a curse and a blessing and so the word  ties together two major lines of prophetic teaching. The Messiah was to  be both a Savior (Gen. 3:15; Is, 52:13-53:12), and a King (Gen. 49:10, Is.  9:1-7), dispensing both mercy and judgment. The meaning “Our Lord has  come,” most often ascribed to Maranatha, emphasizes the certainty that  the Savior has come, and that the King has conquered. 

ESSENTIALS OF A MARANATHA SONG  

1) ANNOUNCING THE TRIUMPH OF JESUS AS SAVIOR AND KING

2) A SHOUT OF HOPE AND JOYFUL EXPECTATION 

3) AN AFFIRMATION OF CHRIST’S LORDSHIP 

4) EVOKES WAITING, HOPE AND WARNING 

5) CONNECTS THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 

MARANATHA SONGS 

1) All Who Are Thirsty Brenton Brown/Glenn Robertson SD28

2) Hungry Kathryn Scott SD17

3) Saviour King Hillsong United SD64

4) Resurrection Day Matt Maher SD60

5) Love Like Rain Daniel Doss SD52

6) You Are God Alone Billy Foote/Cindy Foote SD46

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More Articles to Checkout

The 5 Words of Worship

The Essentials to a Well-Balanced Life of Worship

Hallelujah

Hosanna

Abba

Amen

 

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