Coming in Glory

Chapter 12

The Coming Again

When the cosmic conflict is at its height, the forces of darkness set on universal destruction evenly balanced by the forces of light intent on a victory for their cause, there will come a moment of dark, poignant silence. The minds of all rational creatures will be focused on a point of absolute awareness which will contain nothing. Out of the dark silence there will come a luminous glow that will be intensified rapidly until it becomes a light so radiant that its rays will transfigure all the world. The Lord will come to claim his own, who are all created things, but now they will be utterly transfigured. Death and decay will have been transcended by a new creation in which the whole living universe will be lifted up to God himself. Heaven and earth will have passed completely away, but the Word of Life will have created all things new.

The creation story started in the darkness of utter material emptiness, though the Spirit of God in fact fills all things. In the end the cosmos itself will be lifted out of the sequence of mortality to enter upon the liberty and splendour of the children of God. And then all will meet on the summit of the mountain of transfiguration, each bringing their own kind with them in their own heaven. As they reach the top, men of all races and religions will establish their common unity as they have penetrated their own tradition to its heart and attained its summit. They will find that they now speak with one language and know one Christ who is the destination of all the great religions, to whose coming again they had all looked forward according to their own particular tradition and whom they now see in the faces of all those around them. As St John puts it, "Here and now, dear friends, we are God's children; what we shall be has not yet been disclosed, but we know that when it is disclosed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

When this happens, the great second advent leading to the final appearing of the Lord, time will have been lifted up into eternity. The advent could be very soon, but in fact time is only a symbol of our present incompleteness. When we are ready he will appear as a supreme cosmic event. He will also change the hearts of all from stone to flesh, the flesh of the spiritual body. None will be excluded. It is the work of all those who consider themselves servants of the Most High to labour day and night for the conversion of all men to God, not as a theological abstraction but as a living, driving force that resurrects all life from personal illusion to universal participation. "Then the Lord shall become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord shall be one Lord and his name the one name" (Zechariah 14:9). Meanwhile, let us keep awake for the great arrival.

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