If you don’t know this word already, you will soon wish you hadn’t. The word is ‘apocalypse.’ Don’t know what it means? Well, you are most likely not alone.
Here is the definition form dictionary.com: a·poc·a·lypse - noun
1. ( initial capital letter ) revelation ( def. 4 ) .
2. any of a class of Jewish or Christian writings that appeared from about 200 b.c. to a.d. 350 and were assumed to make revelations of the ultimate divine purpose.
4. any revelation or prophecy.
5. any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war.
The upcoming year is the target of many soothsayers and religious prophesies. All who mention the year 2012 or its equivalent on their own calendars are referring to the year being the time of the apocalypse.
The two most popular are the Mayan Calendar and its adjoining comments, and Nostradamus.
For some unexplained reason, the Mayan Calendar ends its fourth period on December 21, 2012. Aveni, Anthony (2009). The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012. Boulder, Colorado: University Press of Colorado. In 1966, Michael D. Coe wrote in The Maya that "there is a suggestion ... that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the 13th [b'ak'tun]. Thus ... our present universe [would] be annihilated [in December 2012][d] when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion." (I pasted this from wikipedia. Incidentally, there is an extensive article to be found on this subject at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon#cite_note-aveni2009-16 .)
Michel de Nostredame or popularly referred to as Nostradamus, was born in France in 1503. He was considered a pharmacist and healer. In approximately 1550 he developed an interest in the occult sciences and started writing almanacs. Over the years, he became popular as a kind of renaissance ‘prophet.’ It must be noted that his writing style was ambiguous at best and quite easily interpreted in many ways. Because of his vague wording, many would ‘interpret’ him as saying things he may not have intended. In any case, he is interpreted to have predicted the end of earth as we know it sometime in December of 2012. Among his predictions is; “In the sky will be seen a great fire dragging a trail of sparks”. This is interpreted as being a very large comet. A comet such as this could cause great tides resulting in severe earthquakes and tsunamis. He made other predictions, but suffice it to imply apocalyptic scale events.
No doubt, many people today are pointing to various recent events and concluding that we are seeing portents of apocalyptic disaster. They point to the recent number of violent storms and earthquakes. They claim with shaking voices that the end is upon us and we must prepare ourselves for the worst. There are predictions of an alignment of the planets that some claim could form calamitous weather and earthquakes.
November 26th is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian year. On this day, the scripture text points to a prediction of apocalypse made by Jesus.
“But in those days, after that suffering,
he sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. Mark 13: 24-27. NRSV
In this text, Jesus does not predict a date. He merely says it will happen. He also says that no one will know when it will occur. He does explain that we will know it is nearby signs – just as one predicts the seasons, one will be able to predict the coming of the end.
So, it’s coming – sometime. What do we do about it?
In the Christian tradition, the apocalypse is to be feared not because of the catastrophe, but because it is the time that we will go to be with God. It is a time to look forward to it – not with fear exactly or dread – but anticipation.
Here are the things of significance that will happen.
1) Judgment of God
2) We will be with God
3) The end of everything as we know it.
4) Ultimate change.
5) New life
6) Eternal love
7) The experience of eternity.
Sounds exciting to me!