In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1Corinthians 15:52)
In his poem, “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman wrote,
…the little child that peeped in at the door and then drew back and was never seen again…
How quickly, in the scheme of time, did Jesus come into the world and then leave? I realize Whitman was not talking about Jesus when he wrote this, but it got me thinking about the astoundingly short period of time that God was living with us, among us, human like us, a gift to us and with us; observing and participating, watching and wondering, experiencing and feeling life.
And then he was gone. They say he lived 32 years but I’m only going to count the 2 or so that he was actively ministering, healing, preaching, and learning about what it is to love, hope, suffer and die.
… and yet, in that “blink of an eye” everything changed.
It’s like when a baby is born in the night. We are one person just as the sun retreats below the horizon. As that same sun finds its way around the earth and back up the other side, giving light to our world and our experience, once more we see that everything has changed, like a new lens has slid before our eyes (or maybe a skin has fallen off?) Even that slightly burnt toast and too dark mug of coffee now look different in the presence of this new life just born.
… a babe who will be called the prophet of the Most High; for [he] will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. (Luke 1:76-77)
I wonder if the people of Bethlehem – of Jerusalem and of all the world! – woke that morning feeling as if something had changed over night. I wonder if something felt different. The status quo they had settled so comfortably into, the injustices they had justified, the suffering they had accepted as “life,” was suddenly highlighted, visible, and maybe even unacceptable.
I wonder if, as that same sun that had been setting and rising since the beginning of time suddenly, on that new morning, brought with it a new hope for “peace on earth and good will for all.”
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The dead will all be raised and we will all be changed.
This Advent, as we await that once and forever day into night into day, when everything has changed and nothing will ever be the same again; as we prepare for our hope restored and for new life to emerge from death; as we live into God’s love through which even the most impossible is possible…
Let us believe. Let us prepare for a New World that is ours by the grace of God, given in the instant of new life.