Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Calvin and Eschatology

I'm not going to write about the great Swiss theologian John Calvin. I'm going to write about my son, Calvin Rodis Janapin.

You see, he is still in his comfortable abode -- his mother's womb. As of this time of writing, we are still in eager expectation of his coming. He is due on January 4th or 11th. It's been three weeks now that we are really on standby mode. This means that we are on a high level of alert that we can go to the hopital at any minute.

Our situation as parents expecting a child is very similar to us believers awaiting the return of our Lord. Here are some touchpoints:
  1. Exact Time Unknown. Yes, we have a general idea of when Calvin is coming but the exact time unknown. Even the best sonograms can only tell so much. Even the best expert sonogramist can only predict with a margin of error. Only God knows; maybe not even the angels. The Lord Jesus gave us signs that would tell us that his coming is near; but never the exact date. And these signs will be visible.
  2. Need for Alertness and Preparation. Both me and my wife has undergone Lamaze training. We were told what to expect and to be prepared for it. We were also told to prepare even for contingent situations. We were told to be prepared to go to the hospital at any time. We were reminded always the importance of being prepared. The Lord Jesus also instructed his disciples to be prepared at anytime. Since we do not know when his exact coming is, we need to be ready to go at anytime.
  3. Work While Waiting. My wife and I need to continue doing what we used to do while waiting for our son to come out. I have to go to my job and she has chores to accomplish. We have to practice our breathing techniques and master them. We have to prepare the baby things and keep the house clean. We cannot afford to just sit down, lie on the bed, and wait for Calvin to come out (although that would be really nice). The apostle Paul lambasted the Thessalonians for this kind of lifestyle. They were expecting the Lord's soon return too much that they quit their jobs and just waited. He even came to the point of saying "No work, no eat." We have work to do. We are expected to work while it is light; for no one can work when darkness sets in. Darkness is coming, but while there is still have light, we can go on and work. We are engaged in a Kingdom business of saving souls. We cannot afford to just sit down and wait for that glorious day of our Lord's appearing.
  4. Guard Against Laxity and Exhaustion. Me and my wife need to guard ourselves against this two extreme as we wait for Calvin's birth. First we need to look out for false security our preparations might give us. We might feel so prepared that we lower down our alert level. Second, we need to learn to relax because tightening our alertness too much may exhaust us. These two extremes are not foreign in our Christian walk. There are times that we feel spiritual that we lower down our guards, giving the enemy a target. There are also times that we become so spiritually uptight we become focus on the rules too much; too much concern on doing the right things rather than doing things right. We must learn to enjoy our relationship with the Father.
As we wait eagerly for the coming of our Lord Jesus, let us not got lost somewhere in the extremes. Let us always be ready while working; never lowering our alert level while still smelling the flowers along the way.

Have a Happy New Year!

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