by Phil Morice Brubaker

Ephesians 1:8-10 – With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

It’s hard to know sometimes if things in this world are already being gathered up according to God’s will, or if things just keep getting worse, awaiting that eschatological moment further in the future.

I suppose that is part of the mystery, the Now and the Not Yet.

What with the shooting of two law enforcement officers in Ferguson yesterday, I could use a lot more of the Now. Folks in Ferguson, in Norman (at the University of Oklahoma), in Madison, and in many other communities are demanding justice Now.

320px-St._Louis_Gateway_ArchThat’s good theology, in contrast to theologies that pacify the masses by declaring that God’s “fullness of time” will only come at the end of time in some otherworldly heaven. No, the “fullness of time” has already begun, with the first Easter, the commencement of the gathering of all things. It is the “long arc of moral universe bending toward justice.” We may not see the end of the arc, but at times we can just perceive the gentle curve.

As we anticipate Easter, we remain in Lenten frustration. The mystery of the Now-but-Not-Yet deepens. We await the Gathering Up. And we continue the Gathering that has already begun.

Great Gatherer, we wait impatiently, stupidly, and weakly for the gathering of all things toward your justice. Grant us patience, wisdom, and tenacity for these times when the world seems overwhelmed with the Not Yet.

Phil Morice Brubaker is coordinator and trainer with Roots of Justice.