But I wonder… what causes people to buy into what appears to be a burgeoning industry of predicting the end of the world? If we stop dismissing these folks long enough to really look at them, I suspect we would find something we can recognize in each of us: the yearning for home… the yearning for certainty in a very uncertain world. How comforting to know when that ticket home can be expected! How humanly gratifying to also see all the bad guys get their comeuppance and the good guys (you being one of them, of course) win the grand prize, eternal bliss! I understand yearning for home. I understand getting weary of all the vagaries of life. And I love Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood films where the bad guys get what’s coming to them. I get it.
With understanding comes just a bit of sympathy. I believe in heaven – oh, probably not like most people imagine it, but I do believe in that time outside of time and place outside of all places where things get fixed. I believe that God is in the process of drawing all things back into God’s self. There are rough days where I really yearn for this time where no kids will ever be hurt again, where no one will have to die, and where I will both know and be fully known. Yet, I know the kingdom is here; it is among us; there’s work to do. Jesus never promised it wouldn’t storm, he just promised he’d stay in the boat with us – we’re never alone. That’s why the incarnation was so important. That’s why he became fully human, while remaining fully God.
There are likely to be a lot of disappointed and surprised people come Saturday. The media is going to be tough on them. I hope they don’t lose their faith over it, but I hope their faith matures. Their only crime is gullibility. But I understand their yearnings. I want the world set to rights too. I yearn for home. And if we’re honest, I suspect we’ve all had times where, like St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 16, we’ve whispered the word Maranatha! – Our Lord, come!