The world ends and no one told me.
SAVE THE DATE - May 21, 2011
My mom and sister passed this informaton that the Rapture was to occur on May 21, 2011 on to me, but it lacked credibility until I heard it on NPR. Geez, I should run up my credit cards. Wait - didn't I do that for the big Y2K end of the world? It was the second coming. This time it is the Rapture.
The Rapture is a reference to 1Thessalonians 4:17 when Christians will be gathered together in the air to meet Christ. Other eschatological events: second coming of Christ to take over the earth, Daniel's 70th Week, the "tribulation." Simultaneously at issue is whether or not the tribulation (or events of Revelation 6-18) are past, present, or future, literal or figurative.
The primary passage used to support this idea is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, in which Paul cites "the word of the Lord" about the return of Jesus to gather his saints.
...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be raptured (or "caught up") together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.
The idea of ascension is far from new or exclusive to Christianity. Although my mother gave me a copy of "Left Behind" as a hint to my fate. In some Buddhist traditions, when one leaves the body dissolves itself into the colors of the rainbow. Light and water - the secret to earthly life.
Of course, the clouds could be a metaphor for the astral realm - a dream like space where souls could gather for further teaching such as in the Pure Lands of Buddhism or join with Christ in the realm of heaven.
No doubt I will still be here on May 22, 2011. However, if you're planning on leaving, I am accepting donations of all your worldly goods.
"May we live in interesting times."
Amarjah Wisdom School
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