This is a difficult article to write. This is my third attempt. Frustration has begun to set in.
I do not believe any of the popular theories related to, “The Second Coming of Christ.” I believe all of those theories popularized by, for example, the “Left Behind” series (I am choosing not to say anything more about them because it would take far too long to even identify the vast assortment of fanciful second coming beliefs floating—all wasting the precious time and energy of Christians.) are dangerous distractions from the work of love Christians need to be about in the world today.
So, I am simply going to begin with what I do believe.
I believe that Advent IV reminds us that the dramatic return of Christ into our world, being as it is that we live within the “eternal now” even when we do not know it, has happened, is happening and will continue to happen whenever and wherever the need is urgent and the hearts of His followers are open to His return. All you will need to do to come to a similar conclusion is to read, and seriously take into account, everything Jesus has to say about the Kingdom of God; a Kingdom that is coming in power, has come in power, and will come in power to transform everything. That Kingdom is the realm of God’s rule in the world announced and ushered in by the Christ; the world of the now on this earth, and God’s rule in the world to come. This Kingdom is within us, among us, and arrives with our help or in spite of us. (You will find a much more complete summary of the Reality Jesus calls the “Kingdom of God,” or alternatively, “The Kingdom of Heaven,” in chapter 4 of my new book. That chapter is entitled, “Time and the Kingdom of God.” The “Second Coming of Jesus” cannot possibly occur only at the end of time because time is not linear!)
Why is it so important that we know the truth about Advent IV, and not be deceived by false scenarios?
Friends, here is a critical answer. Now is the time when we—you and I—must open our hearts, allow Jesus to transform us into “Just Love,” and live in the created world wisely and abundantly, before we do any more destruction to God’s creation, including ourselves and to our neighbors. But, who is my neighbor?
As we have been told innumerable times, our neighbor is everything, every person, every creature great and small, the wind and the rain, the soil and the sky, the flowers and the plankton, the entire community of life and not life, the universal totality which Christ brought into being and which Christ holds together—that we have been ripping apart for 10,000 years, or so.
I am tired, at the end of my rope, yet holding on with hope, of hearing believers in Christ Jesus tell me that they need not care for the creation because Jesus is coming soon and will rescue them from this rat hole called earth.
This “rat hole called earth” is an expression of the Body of Christ! The creation is where the Spirit of Just Love dwells within and among everything. Everything is sacred.
To be a follower of Jesus is to see Christ everywhere, in everything, all the time, and on into eternity. To be a disciple of Jesus is be love here and now and to be transformed by love as Jesus enters our world again this advent season. To be a believer in Jesus is to know that nothing has, is now, or ever will delay His coming. No fear. Just hope. No despair. Just Love.