There are some things I probably shouldn’t be thinking about, especially since they usually don’t lead anywhere beyond the ceilings of my room and the rotating fan. I dose off, wake up again and worry about other things. One of them is the issue of the rapture, or the end of the world, as we were earnestly taught as kids by zealous pentecostal pastors. It is different from the real “End of the World” as prophesied in the book of Revelation where everything is destroyed and “no stone is left on another”. Actually, when I think about it, they are both very different views of the same event, and pretty confusing. The world ends. Time stops. The sun goes dim. In one other account, things get pretty messy and everything is destroyed. In the other, Christ shows up in the sky, and “all eyes (shall) see him.” (Rev. 1.7)
Actually, it is the “all eyes shall see him” part that has often got me pretty confused, and for good reason: The world is not flat. Maybe technically, the bible didn’t mean that all eyes would see him at the same time but the preachers who preached to us before the age of reason made real sure that that was the impression we got. He would come like a thief in the night and he may catch us doing bad, bad things. So we ought to be careful, and clean, and holy at all times. Well, were that possible, there would have been no sinners in the world. No sin, in fact, and no wars, and everywhere would be happy. Unfortunately, we have crushes (which until I was around 18 I thought was a sin), we lust after people, we have affairs, we lie, we steal and we cheat if it suits our purposes. If I’d known that even preachers had crushes, I’d have had a better luck with the first crush of my adult life whom I met in a church. 🙂
So I’ve figured it out, that part about all eyes seeing him. The Lord, if he would come to the world again, would have to deal with the issue of time zones which would really ruin his surprise. If the world were flat, he may appear to all at the same time, and there will be no hitches. But thank providence for CNN and 24 hour cable, as soon as he lands anywhere on this planet, we will begin to have “Jesus spottings” on TV and twitter, and people of the other parts of the world where he has not appeared will have enough time to prepare for him, repenting of their sins, kissing their girlfriends for the last time, or generally being silly in preparation of his coming. In any case, he could turn out to have a better sense of humour than we credit him for. Or maybe he will turn out like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have described him, gentle and wise, come to make peace on earth so we can all live happily ever after. I’d love that, because I’d really really hate the Statue of Liberty to be destroyed by his coming before I have a chance to get to its crown.
PS: The story of the white cross in that picture, and the crate of concrete beside it is an interesting one for another day.