The ends of the ages have come. That’s how Paul describes it. He’s trying to say something like, “The ends of the ages have met and are now overlapping one another.” We are now living within the intersection of two violently competing ages. That’s Paul’s perspective.

If we allow John to join this conversation his perspective will urge us to perceive that, as followers of Jesus, we are now living a life within a life. When we came up out of the waters of our baptism, nothing changed. And yet everything changed. An hour that has not yet arrived is already here; what will be one day is already today. What seems so real is already no more. What used to be water is now turned into wine. What once was the Word of God has now become flesh.

It is all right here, right now, right in front of our faces. It is present reality because it is part of God’s plan. In our finite limitations we must wait for God’s plan to unfold in time before we are willing to call it reality. God is not so limited. His reality includes His entire plan as He has it conceived within His mind. From God’s perspective there is no beginning. There is no end. It is all a part of the whole. And God can see it all at once.

And so what is not here yet (the end of the end) is here already (the beginning of the end). God asks us to accept that even if we cannot fully understand it rationally. He insists that we structure our present lives knowing that His final solution has already broken in and worked its miracle: creation has been healed, its glory restored, its resources replenished, its people revived and redeemed.

To believe is to trust. To trust is to obey. To obey is to act as if it were already true. A believing community will carry on this routine, mundane, boring life; however, everything will be different. Relationships will resonate with love. Assemblies will teem with the presence of God. Needs will be met with the abundance of God’s riches. The fallen creation will always be of primary concern.

Following our baptism we must carry on. And yet we must never carry on. Instead we must believe and we must live by that belief. In short, as believers we must live Life within this life.