Is it the Apocalypse? William Stringfellow on the need for vigilance and consolation

From his remarkable book An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, a commentary on the Book of Revelation:

“The excited imagery in Revelation of the Second Coming of the Lord, with midair apparitions and other marvels, may have caused some to dwell upon the texts literalistically-to fix upon the wonders rather than upon the excitement of hope. But we can be saved from so demeaning the Second Coming of Christ if we see that, for all its mystery, the Second Advent is faithful to the mission of the First Advent, and is no disjuncture or disruption. On the contrary, it is the consummation of all that has transpired in Christ’s ministry in this world, from the homage of Creation rendered to the Christmas child, through the undoing of death’s temptations in the desert, to the ‘secret of every parable and the authority of every healing and exorcism, unto the day alone on the Cross condemned by the principalities and powers, abandoned by everyone, consigned to death, until the Resurrection. Biblical living is watchful for that consummation but does not strive to undo the power of death, knowing that death is already undone and is in no way whatever to be feared and worshiped. Biblical living originates in this consolation.”

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