With all the jokes and discussion about the rapture this week I have been constantly singing REM.
I have to admit I laughed at many of the jokes and the greetings on Sunday Morning about still being here. I have never been one to worry about the apocalypse or rapture. My first year as a pastor I decided to preach on Revelations so I thought I should learn about the popular understanding of the endtimes and read the Left Behind Series. I started out just reading them to see what people thought and then I got addicted and wanted to know what happened to the characters. But there reached a point, it was before the last two books, where I couldn't read anymore. I didn't want the Jesus they were depicting to come back. I didn't want to meet a Jesus who only saved the people who had said the magic words. I didn't want to meet a Jesus with attack helicopters and machine guns killing people. the Jesus of these stories didn't fit with who I loved and followed.
The Jesus that I know and follow came to welcome the sinners, to invite the prostitutes and tax collectors to the party. The Jesus I followed asked me to welcome into God's family the last, the least, and the lost. The Jesus I followed when speaking about the end of the world, is speaking of a time when God Reigns. What would that time of the Son of Man's return look like? Would it be violent and judgmental or would it mean that the world as we know it would be transformed where the the lions and lambs lie down together, where deserts run with water, where the hungry are fed, the oppressed are set free, where Love reigns.
It's the ends of the world as we know it and I feel fine.