Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Revelation 14:14-16 (NAS)
Many superhero stories involve situations in which the superhero loses or gives up his powers because of the way they interfere with a 'normal' life. The world falls into chaos without the superhero's efforts to save people and stop criminals and other evil people. Before the superhero abandoned or lost his position most people appreciated and applauded him, but there are always the few nasty ones who wanted to blame him or accuse him of being something other than good. Sometimes these evil people are the ones responsible for the superhero's losing or abandoning his powers to save. When things get as bad as possible, or ripe with disaster, the superhero somehow manages to regain his powers and returns to save the world (harvest the Earth) from the reign of chaos.
The story of Jesus is analogous to these superhero stories. He selflessly lived and saved and endured persecution while doing his work. Some people loved and appreciated him, but those whose power was threatened by him eventually captured, abused, and crucified him. They disabled him with his own personal kind of Kryptonite. What was his Kryptonite that made him powerless to resist? It was Love. "For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16) Jesus' Love for his fellow people and his Love for his Father held him tight to the course that led to his Crucifixion which he knew was ultimately to Save the world. The world was Ripe for his Harvest.
Our current world getting pretty Ripe too. We seem to have come to the point in the story when the Savior/Superhero has lost favor with those he serves, partly due to the work of the evil villains and partly due to the complacence and vanity of the larger population. Most take for granted that some Savior or Superhero will come whether they "believe" in him or not. But what they don't stop to think about is that being saved comes at a personal price. God knows that what is freely given isn't valued by most people, so there is a price for the ultimate salvation: a thankfulness and acknowledgement of the Savior's efforts. God knows that unless one is open and expressive of his gratitude for the Savior then he hasn't yet truly understood the magnitude of what the Savior has done.
Some Christian denominations expect a Rapture in which all believers will simultaneously ascend to Heaven. I think the "simultaneously" part is debatable. Part of me is beginning to think that some kind of Rapture is already under way. It seems all the good and kind people whose lives are lived in the Spirit of Christ are disappearing and leaving the world in the hands of the evil and selfish. Of course, throughout history this has seemed the case, but now with such "global" concerns the problem is magnified significantly. Maybe the Harvest has begun?
Personally, I think I'm ready for the Harvest because the world has become so full of human vainglorious conceit, malice, and disregard for others that it is becoming unbearable. And it has become dangerous and painful to coexist with those who reject and ridicule the Savior(s). Christians have always suffered persecution throughout history, but now the "unified" world has concentrated its power to suppress and oppress them.
But it's not too late for those who are open and willing to set aside their own vanity and conceit to acknowledge that they need and want help. All you have to do is ask. And after you receive your salvation, all you have to do is be brave enough to openly express your gratitude and offer praise. That's it. It's not like anyone is asking you for your arm or leg, well, except for the evil ones who will eventually demand from us our very breath of life.
Given the choice, I'll offer my thanks and praise to my Savior instead of giving my life for those who don't and can't care for anyone but themselves.
On this Easter Day we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ which symbolizes our own potential for Salvation. I don't especially care if it is "irrational" to believe in such Salvation. Salvation isn't rational. Love isn't rational. The human world isn't rational.
Enjoy this Easter Day, and if you can be brave enough, offer true and undeniable thanks for the Love and Salvation that is yours for the asking or that you've already received. Be ready for the Harvest because only those who have made it clear that they aren't chaff will be gathered.
And that is today's Easter Sermonette.