Monday, January 01, 2007
Fireworks and Parousia
Last night (NYE) we were invited by one of my husband's colleagues to see the fireworks from their harbourside apartment (everyone knows that Sydney has the world's best fireworks!) It's the first time we've ever gone in to see them "live" (normally we just watch them on tv)and it was a great experience (though being part of nearly a million people trying to get home afterwards reminded me why we don't normally do this!) When you're there in person it's a total experience, the starbursts seem to come across the sky directly towards you, you're waiting in the dark not knowing which direction the next light is going to come from, and sometimes it's all so bright it's like the night has been turned to day.
And, strange creature that I am, in the middle of all this beauty, it occurred to me that this is a faint analogy of what the second coming will be like. Of course, in some ways it will be very unlike, the return of Jesus will be no "flash in the pan". But I remember, when I did Greek in college, being told that the word parousia, commonly translated as coming, actually means presence or appearing. Suddenly He will be there, where a moment before we did not see Him. he will break into this creation like the light breaks into the darkness (and remember, the darkness has not overcome it!)he will not come gradually like a train travelling from a distance, he will be there, and every eye will behold Him. It will be the moment of irreversible judgement, as He shows everyone and everything up for what they truly are, it will also, for those who have learned to worship Him, be a moment of absolute beauty, for all our longings will be met in Him and made manifest before us. I won't labour the points of comparison, I just want to give thanks for the comfort we have that one day, in His perfect time, all wrongs shall be made right, we will walk in his total forgiveness without any backward glances, and all incompleteness shall be completed by His grace.