When God became a human being, a real man named Jesus, we gained a way to see God. Jesus, who had both the divine nature and the human nature, showed his students glorious grace and truth. His followers found Jesus difficult: a King who would not seize an immediate throne. He did not come to bring short-term peace, but was the Prince of Peace. Jesus came to bring justice, in individual lives and in cultures, but He refused any shortcuts. God in the person of Jesus Christ did not choose to extinguish our humanity, but restore our relationship to God.
Wiping the slate clean is easy, restoring the ruins is hard, especially rooting out, slowly over centuries, the rot in individuals (now and in the world to come) and nations. Any who will can begin, but this requires time. A person can decide to lose weight, act on that belief, but to get to the goal safely requires time. This can be frustrating, if the dieter does not keep the certain end in mind! The old is replaced by the new so slowly that personal identity and cohesion is maintained. All humankind can be made whole and fulfill the role God created each person to fill.
Part of this process is forcing us together into the Beloved Kingdom that both transcends and affirms our own particular people groups and families. For this we need a fiery God, refining, molding, and making us, each one of us, part of this great, good, Restoration: the return of the King. There were many souls making many choices that needed an invitation to this restored heaven and earth. The process would take time and so Jesus left us an Advocate.
Jesus was a particular man. If a citizen was in Rome, he could not talk and walk with Jesus. Without a miracle, Jesus only could talk as far as His voice would carry. He came first to His particular place and time as God had promised. Jesus went away for a time, when He was finished with His earthly work, so that the Holy Spirit could come. This allowed the eternal Kingdom, the Church, to be made manifest.
The Spirit of God could fill each individual heart in a new way and show us exactly what injustice and justice are. We could see sin and God’s perfect holiness. We could receive this internally and this internal reality would bind together generations of people: Christians.
6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate[a] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about[b] sin and righteousness and judgment. . .
The spiritual Fathers and Mothers of the Church point out that the Church, this new society, was not born on Pentecost when the Spirit came. Instead, the Church which always had been was made fully manifest. We can all see and experience what used to be reserved for a few: prophets, priests, and kings. Jesus will return when the work of the Advocate is made fully manifest. When the icon is complete, when all the image of creation is ready for total restoration, then time will be no more.
The work of the Spirit on earth will be done and God in Three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) essentially equal in glory and power will have made all things old new. Nothing good will be lost, no truth forgotten, no beauty defaced in that beloved Kingdom. The fiery God will have forged a creation that moves in splendid harmony with Eternal Justice.
Maranatha! Come Holy Spirit and make me ever more a subject of that beloved Kingdom. Make my family whole and our American people righteous. Fill the whole earth with Your glory so we can live in harmony with all Your children, living and dead.