So it is 9:43pm May 21st. Almost an hour (West Coast Time) after our friend Harold Camping has come to the realization that his math was not needed to compute the end of the world. I wonder what it is like . . . is he defiant? Did he lock himself in his study? Did he take his phone off the hook? Or is he teary-eyed with the realization that perhaps the Bible is bigger than he thinks? Of any feeling we should have, it should be one of compassion for a brother that made a big mistake . . . a little grace is what we all need when we blow it.
Of course this is the time for others to blow their horn about how religion is about as real as Camping's 0-2 record at prognosticating the end of the world. As much as we'd like to disassociate with nutjobs that call for the end of the world, we can't slide as far as we'd like. I mean, if you really buy what the Bible says, there will be a time in which Jesus returns to judge the world. We hold a view that is crazy by most standards - God will return at some (undisclosed and unknowable) time in the future (try talking about that in the breakroom/ at the playdate/ or TGI Fridays).
Remember, our faith is born out of one LOOOOOOONG wait for a Messiah. With scriptural cues as far back as 1,000 BC in the 22nd Psalm, the Jews waited a long, long, loooooooong time for God to act on their behalf. In that time, the country divided in half, Kings were evil, foreign countries invaded and plundered the temple, and the country of Israel went through 3 or 4 landlords. In all of this time, the once burning message of God coming to save the Jews went dim. This expectation turned into a way to placate God. It's like God let something die.
And then Jesus showed up. It was the end of an era (but the dawn of a new one).
So some might be saying, "yeah, so where is that God of yours? Isn't this whole thing with Camping another indication that it is all a bunch of stories?"
We've been here before . . . God seems to have a much different timetable - His idea of lateness is not like ours. In fact, His idea of letting something die is different than ours. It seems like He lets something die just so He can raise it to life again.
And THAT is something you can put a guarantee on . . .