Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thank You Harold

As six o'clock in the evening begins to circle the world, the earthquake and teleporting fundy event does not appear to be coming to pass.  But as absurd and delusional as the Harold Camping prophecy has now proven to be, I have to say that I've felt blessed by Harold Camping's ministry these last several weeks.

My calling to preach and teach can often get crunched by the blahness of day-to-day life.   Instead of talking about theology, and sharing what the essence of the Gospel is, I find myself sucked into being a shuttle-driver-dad, or an administrator of a semi-functional local fraternal order.   The relationships of grace that are the essence of the Gospel and the heart of faith sometimes feel far distant.

But the lingering presence of Camping's little bit of memetic crazy has meant that for the last week, I've been having lots of theological conversations.  People want to talk about it.   It's totally insane, but that makes it also kind of interesting, and interesting gets people having conversations.

Like, say, my recently-mitzvahed 13 year old Jewish son.  The net-connected kids at his middle school were all a-Twitter about it, about how the world would be coming to an end.

So here's what happened.  He actually started a conversation with me about what I believed about the rapture.   I told him, of course.  I told him that there were too many non-Christian folk who I loved, himself included, for me to ever buy in to that theology.  I told him that if it were true, I would cling to the treetops and clamber back down if that was what it took to be with them.  Then we talked about what I really believe, and how while I'll admit I might be wrong, even if I am wrong, the world is still a better place because of it.

But let's go back and really hear the important thing in what I just said.

Harold Camping's ministry got a 13 year old boy to get into a conversation with his father about God  and the essence of faith.  Yeah, it ain't walking on water, but if you've got a teenager, you know that there's something miraculous in that.

So for those conversations, for those chances to share the grace and goodness of God, for those opportunities to be in faith conversation relationship, I have to admit that I'm feeling positively towards Mr. Camping right now.

Harold, in a thousand-thousand ways you need to wake up and smell the Gospel Coffee.  But honestly, for getting us all talking, you've been a blessing.

So, thank you, Harold!  I'm sorry today was such a bummer.