Time’s end

Daily Reading for December 31 • The Eve of the Holy Name

The days are growing noticeably shorter; the nights are longer, deeper, colder. Today the sun did not rise as high in the sky as it did yesterday. Tomorrow it will be still lower. At the winter solstice the sun will go below the horizon, below the dark. The sun does die. And then, to our amazement, the Son will rise again. . . .

Come, Lord Jesus, at the end,

Time’s end, my end, forever’s start.

Come in your flaming, burning power.

Time, like the temple veil, now rend;

Come, shatter every human hour.

Come, Lord Jesus, at the end.

Break, then mend the waiting heart.

We have much to be judged on when he comes, slums and battlefields and insane asylums, but these are the symptoms of our illness, and the result of our failures in love. In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.

But his love is greater than all our hate, and he will not rest until Judas has turned to him, until Satan has turned to him, until the dark has turned to him; until we can all, all of us without exception, freely return his look of love with love in our own eyes and hearts. And then, healed, whole, complete but not finished, we will know the joy of being co-creators with the one to whom we call.

From The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle (New York: Seabury Press, 1977).

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