Sunday, May 22, 2011

Of Worms and the Rapture

Yesterday was the day we began planting our summer veggies. After weeks and weeks of rain and muck, it's finally time. I got a good workout turning over about 350 square feet of pure clay again. But there was a very important difference in the soil this time, versus when we first dug up the grass in March: Worms! Each spadeful of dirt had at least three or four of them. Amazing what a difference a truckload of compost makes to the earthworm population. As I kept digging them up I felt like an intruder to their peaceful existences, or like some horrible Godzilla monster causing 9.8 level earthquakes with every stroke of the spade that sent them screaming (if worms could scream) back down into a safer level of subsoil. But just before they realized the Worm Apocalypse had come upon them, I could see these actually quite fascinating creatures going about their usual business. That business being digesting and reproducing. It made me think of "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" before the Flood. This Bible passage has often been quoted in reference to the May 21 Rapture prophecy Matthew 24:36f):

But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. Then two shall be in the field: one shall be taken, and one shall be left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill: one shall be taken, and one shall be left.

Usually that would be the end of it, since it sufficiently answers Rev. Camping. But the rest of the chapter is just as worth reading:

Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come. But know this ye, that if the goodman of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come.

Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family, to give them meat in season. Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods. But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming: And shall begin to strike his fellow servants, and shall eat and drink with drunkards: The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not, and at an hour that he knoweth not: And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Even though this false prophecy has been widely regarded as a bad move, one positive that can be taken from it is that the people who believed it prepared for the Judgment by repenting of their sins and commending themselves and their families to God's mercy. They might not have otherwise done that. Even if their hope for that particular day was misplaced, fact is there will be a Judgment and we all have to be prepared for it. The temptation for those who don't believe it is to laugh at those who do. We all need to pray for those people though, especially those who spent their life savings spreading this message or quitting a job or some other drastic measures that they will now have to live with. The temptation to despair will probably be great for these souls. There's nothing funny about that. As for the rest of us, are we ready to meet God? Are we doing the work God has given us diligently? Is there something we have been over-indulging in ourselves? are we at the very least in a state of grace? Be you also ready.

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