Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Saturday Night Alive...
Nope, not Saturday Night Live, as in NBC, as in Steve Martin, John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtain, Chris Farley, as in over 30 years of nonsensical hilarity...Saturday Night Alive, as in "Dang I hope they're wrong about this weekend and I'm still alive Saturday night."
You see, I have tickets to see U2 in concert in July thanks to a dear friend of mine. I'm going to watch a minor league baseball game with my girls this summer. I've lost a little weight and feel better than I have in a while. I've just recently reconnected with some old friends. You know, I've got a lot going on right now and the rapture coming Saturday would really mess that all up.
Ok, all kidding aside, some folks haven't heard about this yet, some are scared to death. Now, just in case you've been wrestling gerbils, fighting elves, or cross-stitching with Elvis and have missed all of the hype about the end of the world swiftly approaching (as in this Saturday), let me fill you in real quick.
Evidently, Family Radio (whoever that is) has infallible proof (that's right, infallible) that the rapture will happen Saturday with judgment day beginning at the same time. It's a numbers game. They, whoever they are, have determined beyond any doubt that Christ was crucified on April 1, 33, and that the bible says beyond question that there will be 722,500 days between the crucifixion and the rapture. Do the math...figure in the leap years we've had since then, carry the one, subtract Pi, multiply by 1/2, and there you have it, the date of the rapture is May 21, 2011. Which just happens to be this Saturday.
Now, please understand I'm not making light of people's fears. But something in me just keeps going back to one particular verse in scripture, and I'll get to that in just a second. You see, I'm not a literalist, well, at least not anymore. I used to be. This doesn't mean that I don't take scripture seriously, I do, very seriously. I'm just not one to sit around and draw out a Revelation time line. I'm not a fan of Hagee or Lindsey, or any of those other guys who thrive on fear mongering, and who have profited greatly from it, I might add. I'd rather take scripture and look at the ways it can help me live better and just maybe make a difference in the world, without worrying about when it's all going to end.
Still, part of my job as pastor is to help alleviate fear...fear of dying, fear of living, fear of the end, fear of stepping out in faith, fear of getting out of the boat, and others. So, in that spirit, out of love for my flock (present, past, future), I'll say this: Go ahead and make your plans for Sunday lunch. Here's why: Matthew 24:36 says this "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." It could happen Saturday, or tomorrow, or a week from Tuesday, or 1000 years from now. There is only One that knows when...and that's good enough for me.