I am sure you have seen the billboard/s in your town. The clipart inspired brown signage with words boldly proclaiming"Judgement Day, May 21″ complete with a penitent and praying silhouette, a very cool gold sticker saying that "The Bible Guarantees it" and the broadcast time for the local sponsoring radio station.
Now I will admit that I have done little research into this campaign and there is a part of me that is slightly impressed by the marketing campaign that is obviously in play. And yes, I hesitate at giving it more play here in my blog, but good gravy . . . their messaging is everywhere, so much so that even my non-church friends are asking me if it's true. If you want to click over the Family Radio, feel free, but the message is pretty simple . . . time's up and you had better get your act together.
As a progressive Christian, I will admit that the whole judgement day part of my faith gets short changed. While I would love to dismiss those Christians who see the world primarily through this theological lens as bat$!#% crazy, I must remind myself that different manifestations of the church are simply that . . . different. After all, God's judgement and an understanding that Christ will return some day are both part of our Christian tradition and both demand us to deal with them in some way at some point.
So what about this May 21st prediction of Judgement Day when the world as we know it will come to an end? Dude, that's less than a month away. Commencement planners everywhere are shaking in their caps and gowns with many graduations scheduled for that Saturday, students are hoping it's true so they can blow off any finals papers, and yes, my mother's birthday is just after the 21st, so being let off the hook for a present would be awesome
Good golly, I don't know.
What I do know is that regardless of how the particularities of "Judgement Day" play out, be it in my lifetime or millennia from now, there is something about living a life knowing that at some point we will see the face of God and have some words. What God will say, how God will judge and where Jesus will be in the mix is all up for debate, interpretation and, obviously, different level of emphasis. But for now, whether God's judgement of me comes May 21, 2011, sometime in 2012 or at the end of my earthly life, I will choose to live faithfully and boldly, trusting that I am listening for and following God's calling and prodding in my life. I figure if I am faithful in my interpretation and my actions - not always right, but always faithful - then God will be well-pleased. That's seems to be the best any of us can do.
Hmmm . . . I think I'll still get mom a present, just to be on the safe side.
[Taken with permission from Bruce's blog at Patheos.com. Originally posted 4/22/2011. Follow Bruce on Twitter @breyeschow]