ABC day 14: The beginning of the end

I’m not sure I knowingly know anything about the book of Habbakuk. And certainly I couldn’t knowingly quote any of Habakkuk 2:1-3; 3:16-19.

Habakkuk is told to write down a vision of the end of time – it will come – and the prophet trembles and waits for calamity – yet he still rejoices in God because he knows he will bring salvation.

Advent is not just a time to look forward to a beginning – the birth of Christ. Right back at the start of Advent we looked back to the real beginning – the dawn of the world. And we know there is a second coming to come – the end of the world.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516) or follower [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Traditionally, the church has thought on the ‘Four Last Things’ during Advent – death, judgement, heaven and hell – looking ahead to the second coming – for which our whole lives may be but part of a second Advent.

As I found with last year’s Advent Book Club, thinking on this second great Advent leading to the coming of Christ – “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again” – shows the link between Christmas and Easter. The Word became flesh to dwell among us not just to be with us, but because he would sacrifice himself on the Cross for us to give us the chance of eternal life and rising again. So perhaps death, judgement, heaven and hell aren’t that unusual to think about in Advent – why, after all, is Jesus being born at all?

Maranatha – come, Lord Jesus.

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