Now that I am retired, I finally have the time to enjoy reading. It used to be that I was so tired, I'd fall asleep while reading, then it was reread and reread, usually losing the meaning on the way. I have many different books but I tend to like educational studies and this book is just an example of that. For the Life of the World, written by: Alexander Schmenann is full of surprises. I'm reading three of his works currently.
Chapter three is entitled, The Time of Mission, and from time to time, you find yourself asking what it meant that "all generations, all philosophers have always been aware of this anxiety of time, of it paradox. All philosophy, all religion is ultimately an attempt to solve the "problem of time." Then he states that the Church offers a gift.
Time is a strange animal. When your waiting for something, it seems like forever. As you get older, it seems to go so quickly. Time can be a measurement. Time can be a stillness. Did you ever experience falling asleep and feel like you have been sleeping a very long time, only to discover that it has been only a few minutes. There is the present time, past time, and future. The fullness of time, and time well spent or, meaningful time. Then comes the statement, "Time is the only reality of life, yet it is a strangely nonexistent reality." Why? There is no such thing as time to God. It's man-made.
Somewhere in the text the idea comes across as "rush" and "relaxation." That is a good summary. Then, of course there is summertime, opposed to winter time. Fall, is the best time, and who doesn't like spring with all the newness. We are inspired by all the color and change. Ah, the springtime of your life. Then, the time of your "golden years."
Most importantly, is the time of Mission. Have you ever heard the expression, "make hay while the sun shines." Because we are here with purpose, and it is and should be our priority.
The fact is, time is a mystery. Something we will never be able to understand. Some see it as a cycle, circle, and we know it also to be eternal. God is and was and always will be. In Rev. 21:5-6 God is revealed as the Alpha and Omega, "first and last." This is when the end is transformed into the beginning.
The Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, is example and prefigurement of the ushering in and coming of the Kingdom. Foreshadowing His future Glory, appearing in the present with his disciples, and with Moses and Elijah manifesting the communion of saints, the law and prophets the living and the dead. From eternity past, He is the Son of God, fully sharing in the essence of the Father, true God of true God. A dazzling light surrounded Christ, for He is the Light of the world. The Present, Past and Future.
Then the author throws us a bone saying "did Christ, the Son of God, rise from the dead on the first day of the week?" The fourth Gospel, tells us He appeared to His disciples on the first day (Jun. 20:19) and then "after eight days" (20:26)." Time has taken on a new meaning. All time has been transformed into remembrance and expectation, in a new beginning because of Christ's fulfillment. Our time is now the endless day. A day without night, a fixed day "Christian Time"-- Resurrection Sunday, we enter into the "sacrament of the world to come, the liturgy of fulfillment and ascension to the Kingdom where we participate in the messianic banquet in the "age to come," and in this Eucharistic feast of Victory, once and for all time, we celebrate the risen Christ, who fills our time with great hope and expectation. And, we are transformed.
We go forth and declare "I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord." This gives new meaning to time for all mankind, "eternal life". "Through the Cross, joy has come into all the world." "It is Finished!"
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