Tuesday, April 9, 2024


Are you still here this morning? Me, too, apparently. So...shucks. 

There was some chatter across the internet that with the big solar eclipse deciding to come through so many of our neighborhoods this time - and especially through so many towns named after wicked biblical towns (like Nineveh) - then, surely, this was the Rapture. (And I realize that if it was, nothing I write from here after matters all that much.) 

We love to talk about the Rapture. Even secular Americans get caught up in this idea of the sudden end of civilization and the world as we know it. (They call it Armageddon a lot, but if you look in the Bible, Armageddon is a place, not an event. Anyway....) There are a couple of ideas about the Rapture that are popular in culture, even in Christian culture, that are honestly kind of confusing. So I thought, given all the memes and proclamations and yes, jokes, that have been flying around, why not talk about it? 

One of the things that always jumps out to me is the ongoing joke, whenever a rapture-like event comes along, that we should lay some clothes on the ground and then hide. 

First of all, every human being who has ever lived with laundry is not going to think anything about your clothes lying on the ground. The same is true in probably the majority of American households; there are always clothes lying on the ground. We just step over them and move on. It's not going to register in the brain the way you want your raptured joke to register in the brain. 

Second, where did we get the idea that we're going to be raptured naked?

This has seemed to be a common belief for awhile. It's interesting to think about. On the one hand, we live most of our lives in clothes. Overwhelmingly, in clothes. When we bury our dead, we bury them in clothes. We have something in us that doesn't want them to be naked for all eternity, that can't even really entertain the thought that they might be. 

Yet, we also know that we came into this world naked. So there's something in us that makes us think we might go out, eventually, the same way. 

It's also connected to this idea that we have that the resurrection will not be a physical event, that it will be a soul sort of thing with our bodies left behind. But if that's the case, then it wouldn't be just your clothes lying on the ground; your dead and discarded body would be there, too. That's a little more morbid, don't you think? But if you believe that the Rapture is an event of the disembodied soul, then you have to believe your physical body would still be in your clothes if they are left behind. 

For the record, we will have physical bodies in heaven. We will have glorified, heavenly, perfect physical bodies the way we were intended to have them, but we will have a physical dimension to this thing called our "self" when Jesus comes back for us. The Bible tells us so. 

But there is still good reason to believe that if there is a rapture in our lifetime, we will go naked, and that is the very creation story in Genesis. Remember, when Adam and Eve were created, they were naked. In fact, they were naked right up until sin filled them with shame about it. Then, they went diving for the bushes, fashioned some clothes, then were clothed even better by the Lord, who offered the first animal sacrifice to obtain hides for, well...for the hiders. 

So if the Rapture is the start of the restoration of all things to their original state, to the way that God intended them, then it's quite plausible that we're all going naked and that, hear this, we won't be ashamed of it. Shame will be gone. It will be the Garden in the cool of the day all over again. 

Maybe, then, yes, leave your clothes lying around for a good Rapture prank, which might reveal more of our understanding than we are even conscious of, but also, refer back to #1 - don't be surprised if we just mistake it for dirty laundry. 

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