The Table Set Before Time Began

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“So the way of salvation can be found not in affirming the truths of orthodoxy with a long face, but rather by coming to see and know that the words of God are life itself. They are refined gold, they are honey to the lips, they are aged wine, they summon us to a banquet in the kingdom that beggars description. Our Lord Himself has set the table with crisp, white linens, and the silverware is lined up perfectly straight, in the orthodox manner. The crystal is glorious, and every glass is filled with red wine, the deep red wine of the everlasting covenant. Next to every place setting is a white stone serving for a name card, with a name written on it, written out by hand, before time began. They mystery is glorious — if there is no time, then how can we have temporal referents like before? — and the food is even better. But as we look forward to this feast, and as we long for it, there are some unstable men who want to distract us. They have an alternative conception for the feast, one more in keeping with our contemporary, on-the-go, 24-7 lifestyle. Life is open, and dinner is not prepared because we have to help prepare it and we were too busy. Life is a process, they say, and so truth can be found at a convenience store near you. They want some help in getting the shrink-wrap off a package of Ho-Ho’s, and if we collect enough of the coupons, we might eventually solve the problem of evil” [“The Loveliness of Orthodoxy” in Bound Only Once, p. 19]

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