Parenting and Poolside Eschatology

Jason Micheli —  August 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

I’m sitting at the pool near the diving well. I’ve got a book on my lap and my laptop open in the front of me. I look like I’m working probably but really I’m watching my boys. I like to watch when they don’t think I’m watching. They’re freer and less self-conscious then.

They’re doing silly dives. Alexander is encouraging Gabriel not to be afraid. Gabriel is belly laughing at himself. The pool, as its late August, is quiet and slow. It is, it would take little effort to prove to you, a perfect moment. It’s moments like these, ordinary graced moments that convince me that anyone not convinced by God is willfully blind. Any God worth believing in, I think, has to be a God who can make the mundane- not just the holy- redemptive.

In Christian theology, ‘eschatology’ means literally ‘to talk about the end things.’ If you’re a fan of the Left Behind series (I’m not) you’re familiar with eschatology. Its where theologians group our beliefs about heaven, hell, eternity and what future we have in God.

One very important aspect of eschatology is that with Jesus inaugurating the Kingdom in his earthly ministry, there are pockets of our heavenly future available to us in the present. Indeed this is what we say in the Great Thanksgiving when we celebrate the eucharist- that our feasting is foretaste of our future at God’s wedding banquet.

But I don’t think such moments are only available to us at the communion table or even at church. After all if God really took flesh in Jesus then, on some level, all of the created world is charged with grace, all of it participates in some way in God and any moment, like this one now here at the pool, can be connected as surely as ligament to whatever future God has in store.

Jason Micheli

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