The following is a reflection on the First Sunday of Advent, Year C.
The Day of the Lord. The end. The Second Coming. The Parousia.
In our day such things are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hollywood and people so far off their rockers that they are the very definition of “laughingstock.” It’s either startling computer-graphic imagery fueled by super-computers and millions and millions of dollars, or pamphlets handed out by a guy wearing a sandwich-board on the corner screaming “The end is near!”
And, all of that is a shame. Because it makes serious eschatological discussion so much harder.
It’s also a shame that the second coming has become a punch line, because celebrating the first coming has become a veritable deluge of sale pages, shopping bags, and Santa hats.
The ways we talk about, look forward to, and celebrate the coming of Christ—both the first and the second—needs some serious attention by people of serious faith.
There was a time when Christians yearned for the end times. Not because they wanted to see destruction of the earth while they were jetting ‘outta here on the rapture train.
But, because the Day of the Lord is day of hope. It’s the day when all the wrongs of the world get set right. The day when evil, and genocide, and murder, and oppression, and poverty, and injustice, and abuse, and addiction—when all of the forces of darkness get their pink slip. Right before being drowned out by the Light and Justice of God.
Because the Day of the Lord—the Day of Judgement is a sweet victory for those who have been forgiven of everything that they would (and should) have been judged for.
Jesus tells us to watch for the signs that will show themselves in creation and in the conflicts of the nations, but he always tells us to be on guard, to stay awake, and be ready. We do not know the day or the hour, but when you’re perpetually ready, it doesn’t matter when.
We’re to live our life in a state of readiness. Ready for Christ’s coming, on cloud rolled back like a scroll, and in manger mild and wrapped in swaddling cloths.
Because when Christ comes into the world things happen. Things change. Creation is altered to it’s very core, and our relationship with God our Father is forever changed with grace that is so amazing, so divine, it demands our life. Our all.