Brightness of His Coming

The constellation Bootes contains the northern hemisphere’s brightest star, Arcturus. I sat outside in the dark, well-wrapped up, with my binoculars, admiring its brightness. It is our fourth brightest star and was referred to in Homer’s Odyssey. It is over 25.4 times the size of the sun (though it has the same mass) and its luminosity is 170 times greater. It is nearly 37 million light years away in terms of distance, which equates to 215 trillion miles, compared to our sun’s relatively local 93 million. So a much brighter star, but so far away, it merely twinkles in the night when our own, smaller star cannot be seen.

The phrase ‘brightness of his coming’ came to mind this week. I looked it up, and saw it came from 2 Thess. 2:8:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

The chapter speaks of the advent of Satan and the ‘man of sin’, his earthly embodiment or agent. Though these figures will appear bright and powerful, they shall both be vastly outshone by the coming Christ. If Arcturus were to shift all those light years into our current solar system, we should all be blinded and frazzled by its intensive radiance. So too when Christ returns; so concentrated will be His blazing glory, that no evil or wickedness shall be permitted to dwell in its midst. The lights and glories of our dark world will be dazzled by Christ’s brilliance. Though now He seems a long way off, and His kingdom but a dream- it is coming.