The Two Comings of Christ
…Christians live between the two comings of Christ. They remember His first coming to be sacrificed. They anticipate His second coming to reign.
…The two comings of Christ are held together in Christian thought, action, and prayer at all times. They cannot be separated. When they are, it is the end of Christian faith, life and worship. The first coming without the second is a meaningless tragedy. The second coming without the first is an absurd impossibility. Jesus is born to bring God’s kingdom. He dies to prove His kingship. He rises to establish his reign. He comes again in glory to share it with His people. In the kingdom of God there are no subjects. All rule with the risen Messiah. He came, and is coming, for this purpose alone.
At Your first coming to us, O Christ,
You desired to save the race of Adam;
When You come again to judge us,
Show mercy on those who honor Your Holy Nativity.
- Excerpts from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko