A word for this Christmas season

The Aramaic term maranatha is variously translated as “Our Lord has come” or “Come, our lord!” It’s up to the translators to sort it out.

The two-word term appears once in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 16:22–16:22: Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!

If you wish to express the accursed part, you say anathema maranatha. The meaning of the Greek anathema came to be “anything dedicated to evil” or “a curse.” Taken together the two terms suggest that anyone who doesn’t love God will be accursed because The Lord is coming or has come.

Today maranatha is often chanted aloud or silently as a meditation.

These singers from the Diocese of St. Benedict perform “Maranatha Come Lord Jesus” by Janèt Sullivan Whitaker.

~ Eustace