Monday, October 20, 2008

but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Galatians 4:2


Paul believes the Christian is the Lord over all not in a purely eschatological way only in the future, but truly in the here and now. The liberation by means of God’s act on the cross does not elevate the baptized into an omniscient body that is not subject to authority and guardians. The liberated son finds life in the absolute trust received only by faith given in Christ’s movement into the human ears and heart. This divine slavery finds life not only in trust in the heavenly father but as a consequence also in all authority, pastors, parents, and neighbors. That the baptized awaits the time appointed by the Father’s mirrors Jesus’ passion in which he also awaited His father’s appointed time, casting himself solely on the Divine will of the Father. Paul knowing the scriptures and the evangelist’s gospel sees the church’s life only in Christ’s passion. That Jesus preached that no one knew the appointed time except the Father has been an unresolved problem in theology (Mt. 24:36). Jesus’ apparent absence of divine omniscience is commonly understood as an act of humility – not using Divine powers etc.. Though in God’s redemptive act, His own Son reestablishes, fulfills, models, and presents the majestic glory of the purest love and communion in, with, and of God. Therefore it is not a withholding of 'powers' but is itself the final act. And this right communion is Jesus who lays himself on the bosom of the Father – fully trusting. The appointed time is crucifixion of the old cosmos in Christ’s cross. This appointed time (prothesmia tou patros) is itself the crucifixion, particular to a precise moment in history under Roman powers, yet also reverberating across the expanse of the heavens and earth. The community of the church, as Jesus himself embodies, is Lord over all not because she is manipulating and controlling future events but because God is love and so dearly desires our own love. And he claims it in Christ.

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