This past week I have been thinking a lot about the word, “Maranatha.

It is an Aramaic word that is used twice in the New Testament – in 1 Corinthians 16:22 and Revelation 22:20.

Depending on how it is written out, it can have three different meanings:

Our Lord has come!” (Maran atha) – a declaration;

Our Lord-come!” (Marana tha) – a request;

Our Lord is coming!” (also Marana tha) – an expectation.

I think it’s awesome that I can say one this one word, “Maranatha!“, and in my mind and heart it can mean so much – a certain look to the past (Jesus’ first coming); a deep desire in the present (asking Jesus to come again); and a certain look to the future (Jesus’ second coming).

One stream of the Christian contemplative tradition (see: WCCM) encourages the use of this word as a prayer-word. That is, a word that we say in our heads repeatedly to help us dwell in the presence God (see their website for specific details).

So, as you continue in your week, I encourage you to join me in meditating on this word (“Maranatha“) with it’s three meanings, allowing it to encourage your faith and help you encounter the living Christ.