eschatology : a body of religious doctrines regarding the soul relating to heaven, hell, death, and judgement
It is not my desire to be a promoter of any religion’s eschatology. Life is far too short to argue about doctrines, tenets, and beliefs. But, recently I came across a word which I had encountered many years ago and then retired to my brain’s back burner – Parousia.
The second coming of Christ is, for some believers, the entire reason for the season. It is faith on steroids. It is the carrot on the stick, the arrival of Santa Claus only a million times better. Parousia is that for which many Christians live, and, unfortunately, that for which some Christians will attempt to destroy the world. The second coming of Christ – Parousia.
My childhood concept of this event instilled the fear of God into me. Be ready or be left behind. Be good or burn in hell. Be waiting with oil for your lamp or spend eternity in darkness. Christ could come at anytime and being unprepared was not an option, especially for a little boy wanting to go to heaven and sit with Jesus.
I cannot diminish those “little boy” ideas because in the end all of them could be the truth. But that eschatology doesn’t work for me today. In my faith walk, deity lives within and connects to a universal sanctity called Love. Love is the energy propelling the evolution of human spirit. It is the divine force which always was, always is, and always will be. Love is eternity and infinity.
One of my daily favorite reads is Father Richard Rohr. In a recent post, he challenges his reader to consider that all the hullabaloo concerning Christ’s second coming could be not so much a physical happening in the future, but rather a point in the future when all members of humanity have finally evolved to a Christ standard within. In that Parousia, Love takes center stage and transports humankind to the perfection which we attribute to Jesus the Christ in our scriptures and theology. The second coming might be personal internal transformations of global proportions effecting worldwide evolution to the peaceful co-existence envisioned by man’s scriptures and by God’s messengers.
It’s just a thought which gives the little boy in me a reason to hope for a better world dedicated to social justice and equality for all. Childhood eschatology has failed to provide that hope.