Paul suggested that the prospect of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ brings hope and comfort to the grieving disciple. As warriors in the cosmic struggle of Christ for the Kingdom of God, we await his coming; not only will it be the gathering up of all things into Christ, but it will also be the final reunion of all those who have believed in him. In the last day, the trumpet will resound, the dead in Christ will be resurrected, and those believing who remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and we will then forever be with the Lord.
Here then is the truth: all who believe in him, those who have died and those who yet remain, will be gathered to the presence of the Lord, never to leave his side or be out of his presence again. The circle will close again – we will be caught up together with the Lord and, so it will be, that we will always be with the Lord. This is our encouragement and our hope, to fight on, to continue the struggle, to finish our course. The doctrine of Christ’s return can provide us with confidence, assurance, and strength in this world as his followers today.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God our Father, we thank you for the Spirit-inspired truth that soon and very soon, our Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, and we will hear the trumpet call of reunion with your Son. Your grace and mercy have made it all possible. Glory to your name! Amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.  This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah  Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.  But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.
~ Psalm 49.12-15
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Even so, come Lord Jesus, and bring your peoples together to be in your presence forevermore.