The Revelation of the End of All Things - The Anagogical Sense
The old ones tell of a time that at the edge of this fertile plateau, the river tumbled off into a waterfall sharing the nourishment of this northern country with our own. Some tyrant full of greed dammed the waters of this generous river, plugging off life from our little plot of earth. Now we hovel in the sides of ditches, onetime creeks fed from above, sheltering ourselves from the elements, looking for a puddle of moisture to slack our constant thirst.
Rushing at us with panicked excitement, a horseman cries out for us to climb out of our trenches and run from these cracked beds. He speaks of an unknown warrior who defeated the tyrant that had spread death into this valley. The victor is to bring us life once more, destroying the dikes that held captive those life-giving falls.
For hours we wait with our families, licking our cracked lips, seeking shade from the heat above and below, then a rumbling fills our ears. Water surges along those old banks bringing the sweetness of the mountains and the hope of new life.
Today there is a land above, where victory is complete, and evil and death has been destroyed, yet we live in its shadows, but any life, and hope, and sweetness we have flows from this kingdom above.
From time to time, the fullness of that ultimate hope and final destination of all things, burst through the veil of this life, and we see where we are to go.
This is the Anagogical sense. Anagogical means to look up and describes the heavenly, the cosmic hope, the ultimate purpose of man. It differs from typology in that the anagogical presents Christ as triumphant ruling and reigning as king. Spiritual realities that transcend earthly existence arise from mundane stories.
It may be difficult to find this sense in every passage we read, but both the type and the moral flow down from the truth it represents. Joshua crossed over Jericho with the children of Israel into the Promised land, signifying the baptism that all the people of God would experience as the first step in the life of faith, also instructing the faithful that he must embrace the death of Christ in order to experience the resurrection.
Each week we are reminded that our very life is rooted not only in the Cross, the Grave, the Third-day Resurrection, the Ascension into Heaven, the Sitting at the Right Hand, but all those things which have come to pass for us includes the Second and Glorious Coming.
Our faith flows from the future kingdom, and the anagogical reminds us of this.