Wasn't it amazing that the crazy prediction of a fundamentalist American preacher made the news all over the world and, even more incredible, people believed him and gave him away their possessions? A quick glance in the bible would have told anyone in any doubt that only God knows when the end is nigh.
My favourite story to come out was about the entrepreneurs who set up a website offering, for a fee, to look after pets when the owner had been raptured away. Apparently quite a few pet-owning fools took them up on the offer.
And everyone knows that before the rapture there will be revival (or did I make that up?) One of the Swansea churches is currently hosting regular long-into-the-night weekend meetings featuring American (there's that word again) preachers. The words outpouring and fire feature heavily. My favourite quote is from Sean who when told about these fabulous revival meetings, said, 'And does their revival include tending the poor?'
That probably comes a long way down the list after personal drenching in the Holy Spirit, much arm-raising, shaking, laughing and crying hysterically. I'm sorry, do I sound cynical?
Jesus, in his first and possibly most significant sermon, put the emphasis on love, humility and caring for others. That's what Zac's is about and why I love it so much. However I have failed and will continue to fail so often to live up to the standard set that were it dependent on me I wouldn't stand a hope of getting to heaven.
And heaven and who will be there is a subject that is dividing the church at the moment, all because of a book, Love Wins, by Rob Bell. I haven't read it but I've read that what people object to in it is its apparent belief that everybody goes to heaven regardless.
I know I'm going to heaven but as for who else will be there, well, I'm sure I'll have some surprises. And I know there'll be some there about whom I'll say, 'What's he doing here? That's not fair!'
But God isn't fair, not by the world's standards. God's idea of fairness is to let his son die to take our punishment. When all we have to do is be sorry. And while I like that idea when it applies to me, I'm not so sure about it being okay for others.
But that's grace for you. Amazing grace.