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Robert Farrar Capon on “Second Coming” – Advent 2 (Luke 21:25-36)

by pastorjuhl ~ December 3rd, 2012

Our usual notion of Jesus’ coming to the world – or even of the coming of the kingdom – is not only theologically suspect but biblically unsound. For “coming” inevitably carries with it the implication of “not here yet” – which, of course, simply will not wash in the case of the Word who became incarnate in Jesus. the Word did not “show up” in a world from which he was previously absent; he was here all along. In particular, though, the notion of “showing up” will not wash in the case of the parousia. For the incarnate Lord who will manifest himself at the end of history is none other than the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The mystery of his reconciliation of the world has been present in it from the start; no manifestation of that mystery – not even his parousia at the end – is a merely future event. The resurrection of the dead is not stuck out there in traffic on the thruway trying to get to our house. The judgment is not in a phone booth somewhere struggling to make a connection. And the ultimate re-creation of all things in heaven and earth is not in the mail, waiting for the celestial post office to get its act together. All those things are present, now and always, because the incarnate Word is present, not and always, in the world’s mortality. We are baptized into those things by being baptized in Jesus’ death. We feast upon those things by partaking of the power of Jesus’ resurrection in a eucharistic meal that presents him as dead – in his body broken and blood shed. And we -and the whole world, Christian or not – live every second of our lives in the very presence of the judgment by resurrection from the dead that vindicates us all.

– Kingdom, Grace, Judgment, pages 480-481

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