Monday, 13 November 2017

Parousia

If you treat me honourably I will feel a duty and compulsion to honour you. If you don't, I won't.
Here's an interesting thought to entertain. It's about the purported return of the Christ and the ultimate fulfilment of the Kingdom of Heaven, a belief central to Christianity including Progressive Christianity. So if you aren't willing to entertain this idea I'm going to assume you'll stop reading here and not feel the need to point out in the comments that you live your life to a different set of assumptions and explain why and how you misunderstand what I'm saying. If you wish to read anyway, please read it in in the spirit of "if it were true, how might it be true?". That's how I treat it anyway.

The premise of Christianity is that the victory is already won, that death is defeated because perfection itself was slain, thus fulfilling the law that there is a price to pay for evil, but perfect love could not die and yet lives.

The incarnation of perfect love, the personhood of love, rules in the heavenly realms but the victory is already won and we are merely in the endgame. The playing out of that endgame will see that rule extended to the earthly realms, culminating in the physical return of the Christ and the renewal of this earth. The new heavens and new earth that John spoke of in Revelation.
Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
So within Christianity the role of "the church" (those who love love and prize it above all things) is to manifest (make real) the rule of love. This engaging in "holy warfare", making love real, paves the way for the Parousia the "Second Coming".

Within worship we sense the presence of love amongst us, not merely within each individual but within the shared experience of love amongst us. We know the presence of the Christ in our midst.
Psalm 22:3 "You who are holy, enthroned in the praises of your people."
Sometimes rendered as "you inhabit the praises of your people". Right worship is the wild, abandoned adoration of love and it is the purest and strongest experience of love that I've ever found. The love of love itself.

So in worship we invoke the presence of love. In loving each other we have a shared experience of love, we can live in love. As we establish voluntary social structures where love is the rule, where love is the law, we make the rule of love real amongst us.

So in daily life we continue our worship. In as much as it is possible, and in as much as we are able, we invoke the presence of perfect love in all we do. A strong and tangible communal sense of the presence of God, of love amongst us and amidst us, is sometimes called "a visitation" in Christian terminology.

If our invocation of the Christ is strong enough, if the presence of the Christ is tangible amongst us both in life and worship, then we perform the invocation of the incarnation. The return of the Christ. We pave the way, we make straight the road. We live under and establish the rule of the Christ. This is the establishment of the New Age, the central theme of Christianity.

We join with all creation in longing for the fulfilment of our hope:
Romans 8:19 "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed."
"The most important thing study can teach is just how much effort and breadth of understanding is needed to really know anything of substance."

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