Sunday, December 10, 2017

Announcing the second coming is OUR job

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “The message of Jesus is not ‘Repent,’ but ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.’” — John Shea.

“Eschatology” is a term that refers to the “end times” and the future glory that awaits those who are faithful to God’s gift of salvation.

It includes Christ’s second coming but also refers to the end of time, the final judgment, the resurrection of everyone and everything that is gathered together by the creator to share forever in divine glory.

It is not terrible but rather the most awesome of all things to come. The first coming of Christ (which we celebrate in Christmas) already ushered in these eschatological times. The kingdom of God has already begun in the birth of Christ and is already here.

But the fullness of this kingdom of God is yet to be fully realized — that will be in his second coming.

What happens “in between”? “In between” is where we are.

John the Baptist understood his critical role to announce the first coming of Christ. An equally critical role falls to us to announce the second coming of Christ.

And even though we cannot pinpoint a day or exact time, nevertheless we continue to proclaim the kingdom that is here and now and the fullness of that kingdom to come.

We do so because our lives become a testimony to our belief in the kingdom; living the Gospel gives us a beginning share in the glory of that kingdom. Sharing that glory actually makes the kingdom to grow within us, through us and around us.

We are “critical players” in announcing and living this kingdom of God. If we don’t live it and share it, we lessen it. If we live it and share it, it thrives and blesses in the “now.”

John said: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

We have been baptized in his Spirit. We are anointed in the Lord. We share in his kingdom and proclaim it with our lives. We even receive and are nourished by him as the bread of life and our cup of salvation.

Is this time not anointed? Is this time not one to be proclaimed? Do we not share the privilege of John?

John announced the first coming. We announce the second.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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