Monday, July 2, 2007

On the Second Coming of Christ

This was last week's theology question. Eschatology is the study of the last things, second coming of Christ etc. My response follows the question.

What relevance does eschatology have for your daily life now? In what practical ways can you be a "personal microcosm of the eschatological new creation" for those around you? What effects might this have upon your relationships with others?

To be honest, I do not see that eschatology has a great impact on my life now. In order to be prepared for the Lord’s coming, we just need to continue drawing closer to him, to become more like him. As we are more continually in his presence, it will not really matter when he returns or whose perspective was right.

I can be a “personal microcosm of the eschatological new creation” for those around me by continuing to do what I am doing now. I want to be more like Jesus. This can only happen by spending time with him. The disciplines of journaling, lectio divina and divine hours are ones I have incorporated into my daily routine. In this way, I can have my ear better attuned to his voice.

If I can be a “personal microcosm of the eschatological new creation,” I will behave in a more Christlike way to others; I will be living an incarnational life so that even if I do not speak a word, Jesus can be seen in me. It is a matter of being Christ to those around us.

When we gather for worship, we confess he is coming again.

Each time the Eucharist is celebrated, the community prays for the coming of the Lord, proclaims the beginning of the time of salvation, and anticipates the blessings of the parousia. The community reminds itself and God that it will celebrate the Eucharist until Christ comes in the parousia, when the eschatological promises will be fulfilled ... the church is an interim community, anticipating the eschatological fulfillment and attempting to inaugurate it in a proleptic way for itself and the world, as a witness that one day this fulfillment will be all-encompassing and evident. [1]

As an “interim community,” [2] we need to follow Jesus’ admonition to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16b).

[1] Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds., Christian Dogmatics: Volume 2 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 560.

[2] Ibid.

The Bible. New International Version.

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