We laugh at the Mayan apocalypse junkies, but…
…we Christians have plenty of our own End Of The World doomsday predictors. Check out this list.
On the day when at very least the prediction made by the Mayan calendar that the world will end has been proved to be a slight miscalculation, it might be useful to reflect again on that word eschatology (not to be confused with Scatology) defined by Wikipedia as follows;
The Study of theology, physics, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity — commonly referred to as the “end of the world” or “end time“
Note that this is serious business to many theologians in particular. It is big bookshelf time. Big argument time. Big business time. Why? Particularly when the subjects of study have little to do with the environmental/political/economic/social crises at the end of our noses, and everything to do with esoteric texts written thousands of years ago.
It is perhaps ironic that many commentators on the book of Revelation (the source of a million Christian predictions of apocalypse) have a very different understanding of the text, pointing out that it was one of many pieces of ‘apocalyptic literature’ of its time- a style of writing that used mysterious and ritualised language to shine light on the culture of their day. People reading the text under Roman occupation would have had a totally different entry into the language and imagery used. They would know who the Beast was, and the meaning of ‘Babylon’.
In this way, the coming apocalypse was a warning to people to take a long hard look at who they are, what they are becoming, and to refocus on a life that is in service of the Kingdom of God.
It was not a description (thanks again to Sharon who coined the phrase) of how God is going to use his great big hoover to suck his chosen few from a doomed and despicable world up into his heavenly fall out shelter.
The apocalypse that the followers of Jesus should concern themselves with is a daily occurrence. It happens always in the shadow of Empire as forces conspire to promote greed and power mongering.
Of course I could be wrong, it is not yet Mayan high noon. I kind of thought that if I am wrong no one would be around to laugh at me though…