Often in theological conversation we hear the phrase “already but not yet”, to describe our current ‘age’. The King has come! Christ is risen! A new day has dawned and is still dawning. The end is inevitable we await but the epilogue. It will be the longest epilogue ever, for it will last eternity.
From the cross come the words “It is finished.” Satan’s seeming victory is dramatically snatched away and his death throes begin.
We live in that in between space where the work is indeed finished, and things have not yet been fully ‘put right’ under the Dominion of Christ. We continue in our struggle against; sin, the flesh and the devil and we do so in full knowledge that Christ has died, Christ is Risen, and Christ will come again. The struggle is real and the ultimate victory is realer as we live by faith.
I have been thinking about this “already but not yet” state lately. I am reminded of it during this pandemic. Today I get my second vaccination. It has been a strange and grace filled journey! I was not expecting to be ‘fully’ vaccinated so soon. Late in March our province had a supply of vaccine designated for teachers. I was really happy about this because our son is one of these ‘front line’ workers and both he and his wife are immune deficient. However just before the teachers were to get ‘jabbed’ questions arose about reactions occurring in those under 55. The teachers’ vaccinations were halted and the province briefly opened up the possibility to the general public over 65. Our disappointed son called me to tell me this and within the two hours before all the appointments were booked we got on the list and were inoculated on April Fools day. The other day we heard on the radio that there were doses of our vaccine (Astrazenica) which had to be used very soon before they expired. I called in and made an appointment for today. This will mean that two weeks from now we will have effective protection from the ravishes of covid! Practically speaking, though, not much will change for us until the province around us ‘catches up’ but our hearts and minds are at rest, as we wait in the “already but not yet” phase.
There is a hope for victory over covid but an even more wonderful hope for the Lord’s return and the putting right of all things.