Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When the World Will End

A few years ago a radio preacher, Harold Camping, made a splash by predicting May 21, 2011 as the day of Doom. He was wrong.

Then there is much talk about the Mayan calendar and the speculation that because it only runs through December 21, 2012, the end appeared to be near. But, not so near after all.

Now Chris McCann, the leader and founder of something called the eBible Fellowship, has predicted October, 7, 2016 will be “the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,”

We woke up on May 22, 2011 and again on December 22, 2012 with the world still going on pretty much as it has. And, though October 7 is not over yet, I expect to wake up on October 8, 2015 with the world no more annihilated than it was two days before.

I am confident that the world will not end today. I know this because I am an Episcopalian. As an Episcopalian I know when the world is going to end. It is really quite simple. And, because I care, I am going to let the world know so everyone can plan ahead.

The secret is in the Book of Common Prayer. There is an elaborate set of rules for determining the date of Easter each year. Helpfully, there are Tables for Finding Holy Days in our Book of Common Prayer beginning on page 880. The Prayer Book even saves us the trouble of applying those rules by listing future Easter dates in the following pages.

And here it is . . .

The Book of Common Prayer has dates for Easter through 2089, but no further. Therefore, I predict the end of the world will come on or after April 4, 2089.

Remember, you heard it here first.

Actually, anyone wondering about the end of the world would do well to consider the following:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
– Jesus, Matthew 24:36

For he says, 'At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.' Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation
– Paul, 2 Corinthians 6:2

And here is something from C. S. Lewis’ fine essay, "The World’s Last Night."

I do not find that pictures of physical catastrophe – that sign in the clouds, those heavens rolled up like a scroll – help one so much as the naked idea of Judgment. We cannot always be excited. We can, perhaps, train ourselves even now to ask more and more often how the thing we are saying or doing (or failing to do) at the each moment will look when the irresistible light streams in upon it; that light which is so different from the light of this world – and yet, even now, we know just enough to take it into account.

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