So apparently there are those who are gearing up for some big extravaganza to celebrate the second millenium since Jesus' resurrection. Yes, I know, there is not quite a consensus on the date 33 AD but why let a little detail like that spoil plans for a party -- a huge party, according to reports. This is not quite a birthday and more like an anniversary but the point is not cake and candles and party hats. Or is it?
The organizers have been careful to distance themselves from any association of this with rapture or Christ's coming in power and glory: "in no way whatsoever are we associating this jubilee with" the Second Coming of Christ. It appears unity and love are the twin foci. Planners are suggesting that "every disciple of Christ" on earth participate in collective witness to show "we love each other in the Holy Spirit!" That's nice. Of course, it is the spiritual unity that is being talked about here and not theological. That might be rather ambitious for 12 years of planning to resolve 2,000 years of conflict and division.
The desire is for more "tangible demonstrations of God's love" -- more tangible that we see today in the fracture of Christianity not simply along denominational lines but of orthodox Christianity against modernist Christianity. Everything will be celebrative -- "joyful, artistic and creative" and not limited to or primarily in churches but in "stadiums, squares, parks, mountains, fields, beaches, homes and on the Internet!" I am not sure they needed to add on the internet.
Everybody loves a party, that's why we invited you... I can only imagine. . . You can imagine, too. . .
... the greatest celebration in all of history: 2000 years since Christ's resurrection!
... the worldwide body of believers gathering in all regions of the Earth!
... the Church demonstrating tangible love and sincere unity to the world!
... the dawn of resurrection Sunday 2033, when light breaks forth a new day!
It will be interesting to see who signs on and who does not and if the whole thing fizzles before the big day. It points out how much we are invested in celebration rather than suffering, in making a big splash instead of humble faithfulness, and in overlooking real doctrinal differences for the sake of an appearance of unity. But this is not new and it is not unique to the JC2033 organizers. It is the nature of man. Nobody wanted to build the ark but everyone wanted in when it began to rain. Nobody wants real and honest dialogue about the things that divide us but we all love to jump on the bandwagon of unity. And so it goes. . . stay tuned for more.