Fulfilled in your hearing | The Community
The Anglican Church of Canada home page
Sites at the Anglican Church of CanadaFind a ChurchFrequently Asked QuestionsStaff Listing

Fulfilled in your hearing

compassROSELast week I offered some reflection by John P. Manoussakis on Eschatology—the future creating the present, effect preceding cause.

This idea is also explored by Bonhoeffer’s description of the penultimate. The penultimate is the stage just preceding the last or final. It is a preparation and exists on behalf of the ultimate. The sufferings we face, the ordeal, the cross, sin itself belongs to the chronology of linear time and is in preparation for fulfillment. The eschaton, the Kingdom, is not shackled to time but rather breaks into and reveals itself in time.

This breaking into time is what we are yielding to in holy, and in the sacraments. Manoussakis shares the Eucharistic prayers of St. Basil the Great and St. John the Chrysostom which proclaim: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit,“ a Kingdom that is a reality, not an expectation. Further, in the anaphora (consecration) we pray, “Remembering thus this salvific command and everything that was done for us, namely, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection after the third day, the ascension to heaven, the sitting at the right hand of the Father, the second and glorious coming.” Remember a glorious second coming, a future event? Manoussakis points out that the Eucharist is more of a prolepsis than an anamnesis, “since the events we recall lie from the historical perspective, in the future—a future made present in the Eucharist and by the Eucharist.”

Christian eschatology is a tension between the already of the incarnation and the not yet of the parousia. Manoussakis points to the Gospel of John: “the hour is coming and is now here” (Jn 4:23, 5:25), “…now is the judgement” (Jn 12:31), or “already” (Jn 3:18), the resurrection of the dead is happening in the present (John 5:25). Penultimate “breaks ever more powerfully into earthly life and creates space for itself within it.” Thus eschatology “has become real in the cross” and in the resurrection of Christ, but also in the liturgy, since “liturgy implicates the eschatological in the historical.”

Manoussakis suggests: “the light of the Eschaton—the consummation that has already begun—keeps reaching us at the present; the daybreak of that eight day, still to dawn, sheds its light on the now, on the momentary and the fleeting, on the ephemeral and the arbitrary, and makes each and every thing visible—while itself remaining invisible.” (Manoussakis, 67)

As the Church was shaken this past week by the outcome of the Primate’s meeting in Canterbury—an Eschatological vision may remind us that the Church has not yet arrived. We are still bound by sin, by our brokenness that awaits the fullness of restoration. A restoration where there will be “no more temple” (Rev 21:22), “God will be all and in all” (1 Cor 15:28). We are still yeasted, still rising, but not yet cooked! Can we sense the yeast still working in the Primates’ desire to remain in communion, the intention to walk together, to work for justice for all people – even in this still-baking loaf? On Sunday we will hear Jesus proclaim the “year of the Lord’s favour”, that Christ is realized “in your hearing” (Luke 4:21): The not yet is right now in Jesus. So we journey onward, and gather at his table to yield to the in-breaking Kingdom, the timeless grace where we bring our broken body, and He gives us His.

Gregor Sneddon

About Gregor Sneddon

Gregor Sneddon is a Presbyter in the Diocese of Ottawa and the Rector of St Matthew’s, Ottawa. He received an MA from the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies and is the founding Coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Eastern Ontario. Gregor is a council member of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission and serves on the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. He is a husband, a dad, and enjoys being in the woods, a good dinner party and swinging the blues.
This entry was posted in Flesh made Word and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fulfilled in your hearing

  1. The idea that the Kingdom is already breaking into our broken world is comforting. Within this metaphor, what is our role in making that happen?

  2. The more we think outside of linear time, the more we understand the mysterious truth of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, our sad divisions cease, institutuons and power become irrelevant, and peace replaces anxiety. “In that pa’am you will know that I am God.” Thanks Gregor!

    • Gregor Sneddon

      I also find the idea of the Eschaton as existing outside of time a helpful way of understanding death and our resurrection. In linear time, we experience resurrection at “the end” – but we also live in the Eschaton as it exists outside of time, forever, even now…Those who have died in Christ, live!

  3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – inspiration- recognized evil despite the opposition he faced by the population and the Nazis- – Martyr for Christ!

  4. Tina – imagine he was martyred at the age of 39!…a Saint in Glory

  5. Steve, the metaphor I used was the bread, still yeasted but not yet baked…I think the one thing we can do is ‘yield’, ‘consent.’ I love Irenaeus who says “the Glory of God is the human person fully alive”. We attache our freedom to God and allow the Holy Spirit to continue the work of transforming us who are in His image, into His likeness….

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

overappreciative-feminacy