In the weeks leading up to May 21st there has been an impressive campaign on the part of Family Radio to promote the idea that Jesus the Christ would return on that date. People who believed this prognostication actually quit jobs and send large sums of money to the radio station to help pay for the public relations campaign. As we worshiped on Sunday, May 22nd, I proclaimed that I, for one, am happy to have been left behind. I am happy, even honored, to have been chosen to continue the work of bringing God’s love to the rest of creation.
In a personal note, I am saddened that so many people accept a description of God that is so cruel and capricious. I believe and preach and trust that God is love. That is what Jesus reveals to us. I am also saddened that people, well meaning or not, take advantage of the credulity of others to promote such ideas and even to amass fortunes. There must always be a reaction when a prophesied date like this one has passed with no “rapture”. I only hope that the reactions to this non-event will be to bring people to a more orthodox and loving theology.
This sermon looks briefly at the very young history of millenarian movements and offers a loving message of hope based on Jesus’ teachings.