Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollectionsJesus

In Theory:

End of the world as we know it?

November 28, 2009

“2012” was at the top of the box office last week. The movie’s plot revolves around the end of the world, supposedly predicted by the end of the Mayan calendar, which expires on Dec. 21, 2012. The movie is described as “an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.” The supposed end of the world in 2012 continues to be a hot topic by believers and nonbelievers alike. Does your faith reveal anything specific about the end of the world or how it might look like? And what do you think about the supposed Mayan prophecy that the world will end in 2012?

?

The short answer is: No, the Bible doesn’t predict anything specific about the end of the world.

The various visions of cataclysm it contains are just that — visions, poetic fantasies, metaphors, which have more to do with the writer’s immediate time and trauma than events foreseen in the distant future.

Advertisement

Biblical scholars’ best guess is that when Jesus spoke of coming days of doom, he meant either the destruction of the Second Temple (which happened in AD 70) or the persecution and martyrdom of his followers — or again, he was only speaking in poetic metaphor about the arbitrariness of life and death, and the consequent need for spiritual attentiveness: “Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:33).

One amusing passage (2 Timothy 3:1-5) sounds a lot like the horrible days are already here: “You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.

For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power.”

Sounds all too true already, right?

I think that our timeless fascination with the end of time is really just our fear of death, and awareness of the transitory fragility of life.

The terrifying truth is that the end of life could come any time, for any one of us.

THE REV. AMY PRINGLE

St. George’s Episcopal Church in La Cañada

?

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles
|
|
|