Savior of the Nations, Come!

“Baptism is the sacrament of the extraordinary unity among humanity, wrought by God in overcoming the power and reign of death; in overcoming all that alienates, segregates, divides, and destroys [people] in their relationships to each other, within their own persons, and in their relationship with the rest of creation.”

William Stringfellow, Instead of Death (New York: The Seabury Press, 1963), pp. 111-112.

As we turn the corner into Advent, we might begin with some revolutionary implications of the coming of Christ. For “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

To paraphrase Karl Rahner, Christian baptism is an efficacious sign of a world already dripping wet with grace. Indeed, Christ has already come among us in mercy and justice. And yet, he is still the One who is to come. So long as we abuse God’s gift of community and place it in the service of death, Christ’s Advent is not yet complete in us, fully realized as it is in itself. In this holy season of preparation, we remember the absolute gratuity of Christ, in whom we are already reconciled, even as we await the consummation of his reign.

The Rev. Bill Carroll serves as Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Athens, Ohio. His parish blog is at here

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