Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Time Timely and Timeless

Three weeks ago now, a friend from Seminary, Scott, whom Kate and I had not seen much in the past three years since he returned home to California, spent a week and a half with us while he defended his thesis at North Park Theological Seminary. Our time was amazing and we both said it was as if we had not been apart. Banks, another friend from seminary, who lives in Indiana whom I have only seen occasionaly since, unexpectedly came up to Chicago to see Scott. The three of us ended up in a local diner drinking coffee and having a smoke. It was like our many hours sitting in the diner accross from North Park, then known as George's. We all agreed that it was like we had not been apart.
However, the experience was more than that. It felt like it was the same time, like three and a half years had not passed since we last sat and talked theology, philosophy and life. Yet, this time was not nostalgic, it wasn't that we were back in seminary (God forbid, I loved seminary and am glad to have moved on.) Our meeting together was a time, a space even, unto itself, something more timely than the passing of time. Somthing timeless that the passing of time could not erode. This time was neither simply present, nor past, nor future. It was our time, the time of our friendship as such it was beyond time.
I wonder if this is analogous to the Kingdom and of the age to come, that is the eschaton? I wonder if it speaks to the meaning of the Eucharist? Isn't the proclamation of the Gospel that an-other time invaded time. A time of its own unafected by the passing of time. My sense is that the age of the ages, the world to come, which came in the person of Christ and is to come again in Christ's return is also present when we gather around the Preaching of the Word and sharing in the Eucharist.
In the least my experience with Banks and Scott hints at the possibility of a time that asserts itself in the midst of and without regard for chronology and the passing of time. I would also hope that the timeliness (timelessness) of our friendship has this character because it shares in the Kingdom of God.