Saturday, May 21, 2011

We were ALL left behind! (Or why we are saved in bunches)

Hello, Coffee Talkers!

Alright, perhaps I've made few too many Rapture jokes, and now that it did not happen at the predicted time (or if it did happen, we were ALL left behind), I would like to share one final thought, and an article. First, my thought:

For as many jokes as I made about the Rapture (sorry to all of the people I was around these past few days who had to endure my ceaseless [but still hilarious?] Rapture-based humor!), there is something important that I realized. As a person of faith, I would never even want to be snatched up to heaven, knowing that others were left behind. Because our salvation is necessarily in community, or as a good professor of mine often said, "People are saved in bunches!"

God is all about relationships, and not just individual relationships, but relationships with all humanity. In the Old Testament, we see God working through covenants that He made with individuals for the sake of the entire people. And then He makes the New and Everlasting Covenant through Jesus, in the hope that all men might be saved. All men. Not just a few 'true Christians' to be snatched up, while the rest of us lousy sinners suffer a time of trial, tribulation, and judgment.

No, we are all in this together. Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man. We are all called to solidarity with the entire human family, to spiritual bonds of friendship with all people. This is a radical way to think, and even more a radical way to live, but these are the demands of the Gospel. "Go out, therefore, and make disciples of all nations." We are all called to an apostolate of love, an apostolate of friendship.

If I want a Heaven, an eternity of complete love, joy, and peace, I don't just want it for myself, but for everyone. For this reason, the whole idea of the Rapture seems too elitist, individualistic, and self-centered to be the real deal of Christianity. Jesus spent His time hanging out with a whole lot of sinners. Lots of people weren't all that fond of prostitutes, adulterers, and tax collectors, for example. But Jesus befriended them. And let's not forget the 'good thief' who hung on a cross next to Jesus' own. The thief asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingly power, and do you remember what Jesus said?

"Tough luck, buddy! It's too late now. Only the 'true Christians' are gonna be snatched up, and that's not for a while still. I don't know when it's gonna happen, actually. But you're a bad man, and you're not gonna be there."


He said, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Lastly, I'd like to share an article by Fred Clark titled, "Disappointment, despair and Harold Camping." Clark makes the point, far more eloquently than I could, that Camping and his followers are also part of this human family, for whom we should also experience a fraternal concern, even as they mourn the loss of a prediction that never came to be.

As always, thanks for stopping by! Be assured of my prayers.

Peace and all good,

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