Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easter 5A

We can laugh and make fun about the fact that the rapture “didn’t happen” – it seems kinda ridiculous to some of us but the fact is that some people believe that Jesus left them behind yesterday. They feel outcast. Some people have sold their homes. Some people are opening empty refrigerators this morning.

One man, according to the Washington Post, packed up his minivan and drove his family 3,000 miles from Maryland to California. Keith Bauer told a reporter: “I had some skepticism but I was trying to push the skepticism away because I believe in God."

The problem with such apocalyptic thinking is that it is grounded in a “Gnostic” theology that orthodox and pluralist Christians reject, albeit for different reasons. “Gnostics” such as Harold Camping believe that they have a special knowledge permitting them and others to escape this earth while sharing a more holy relationship with God. Early Christian Gnostics sought out one another to share secret symbols and information in an effort to determine how to escape a world they viewed as ghastly wicked and corrupt. Many of them believed Jesus Christ to be the divine means for escaping their gruesome bodies and this imperfect plain of existence.

It’s difficult for me to read this morning’s text and come away with a sense of Jesus abandoning his followers. This morning’s Gospel doesn’t readily read as if Christ has got a special book and space for a select group of people. In my father’s house – there are many mansions and I go to prepare a place for you. That space is for the doubting Thomas’ of the world. That mansion is for the denying Peters of the world. That relationship with God is for anyone who seeks God and desires a deeper relationship with God. We place our faith in the conviction that The Way that we create, such belief is through an enduring relationship with Jesus the Christ who lived and lives in this world. We hope that such faith is sustained through Jesus Christ’s presence on this planet, his sacrificing death and the Cross and the victory of his death through his Resurrection from the tomb on Easter Sunday morning. We believe that he will return one day without knowing when that day is – and meanwhile that he is sustaining us to go out into the world rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim through Word and Deed that Christ is not dead nor are we leaving to meet him in the air. We are Jesus Christ’s Living Stones. We may be babies in the faith but God is calling us to proclaim Christ’s Grace through our words and our deeds. You can hear more here:

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