II. SECTION 9. What is the Second Coming?
Lesson 308 This instant is the only time there is.
- I have conceived of time in such a way that I defeat my aim. If I elect to reach past time to timelessness, I must change my perception of what time is for. Time’s purpose cannot be to keep the past and the future one. The only interval in which I can be saved from time is now. For in this instant, has forgiveness come to set me free. The birth of Christ is now, without a past or future. He has come to give His present blessing to the world, restoring it to timelessness and love. And love is ever-present, here and now.
- Thanks for this instant, Father. It is now I am redeemed. This instant is the time You have appointed for Your Son’s release, and for salvation of the world in him.
To escape our defeatist ideas concerning time, we must reach past it, our lesson instructs us today. We must change the conceptual framework that we have built around time and ask Holy Spirit to make time’s purpose real in our minds. Jesus tells us that the purpose of time is not to keep the past and project it to the future. Now is the only “time” there is in reality, and so this is the only time in which we can receive forgiveness.
We are accustomed to thinking of Jesus as a historical figure, a deity who deigned to come to earth, be born in a stable, raised by a carpenter and his wife. He gave us an alternative view of the world before he was crucified for our many sins and failings. But today’s lesson informs us that now is when forgiveness comes to set us free. Not over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, but now.
The birth of Christ happens now, when we who are the lost Sons of God, remember our brothers, look beyond condemnation and blame, and accept His message of hope and joy. He did not come to save this one and that one, He comes, in this instant, to save us all! He has come to save the world, reestablishing it to eternity and love. To bring this concept home to us who are steeped in our resigned “doing time” outlook, our lesson emphasizes in the last sentence of verse one: “And love is ever-present, here and now.” There is no time when the door will be closed for always and forever, the time is now. Chew on that, brothers!
No matter how long we content ourselves on the ego’s senseless path, this instant is the only time there is. This instant is the holy instant where all is forgiven, where we meet our brothers in love, and the past is no more. As long as we are in our fleshy, ego-bodies, this concept will be one of practice and devotion. While the Course indicates that it is possible to go beyond our current state even when we are in our current state, most of us will only get it on occasion. We will practice it on occasion, recognizing its reality but in a tentative, baby-step approach. For we are amongst the splintered off and separated souls of the world, living here in time but not of time. Light does not come to darkness; darkness must come to light. And so we draw near to the light of timelessness and love, we pray the Our Father, Your Will be done; we let Christ’s light shine through us and practice timelessness through the holy instants. It is a process. There is no magic to it. It is merely a change of mind about the illusion projected on the outer world compared to the reality of the inner world, the Kingdom of God within.
In this instant, Christ returns. We experience the Second Coming. We don’t look to the sky to see Jesus and the heavenly host drawing up the redeemed of earth blowing trumpets, weaving magic, and punishing the hostages of time. He returns and sets up His kingdom within our hearts. He changes our minds about our Father, returns our devotion to Him, and we the redeemed redeem the world. This is the Second Coming of Christ. Nobody gets left behind. Nobody goes until we all go. Your body’s death does not release you from the Sonship’s purpose. We are all in, brother. We all do our part, whether in the body or out of the body.
We have contented ourselves with the childish notions of salvation and redemption long enough. This is not the movies where the hero struts in, shoots the bad guys, and brings temporary peace and safety to the town. We are not primitive, infantile people who cannot understand concepts, symbolism, and abstract ideas. In this instant, Holy Spirit urges us to grow up, to open our minds, to look beyond the imagery, and perceive the unseen message hidden in plain sight of the time- and earthbound ego. Let us pray the prayer of recognition:
Dear Heavenly Father, You have asked us to recognize our
situation for what it is. Give us a
deepening understanding of time and its purpose. It is not in the past, it is not in the
future, it is now, in this instant, that You have appointed our release through
Christ our Lord. Let Christ reestablish
His kingdom within us, and the world be saved.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 A Course In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 308. This instant is the…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 453