Monday, July 27, 2009

The Modern Fascination With Doomsday

One of the many ideas that modern culture is fascinated with are end of the world prophecies and doomsday scenarios. Many times Old and New Testament passages are cited out of context, which cause worry and anxiety. There are people who believe we are living in the end times, I'm not one of them. Mr. Beers, a documentarian and producer of a new postcatastrophic reality show called, "The Colony," attributes "the public's interest partly to post-9/11 anxiety. That emotion is compounded by economic woes." "The Colony" is a reality show which will portray the last men and women on earth and show the survivors "as they build new water systems, fend off bands of intruders and figure out how to support one another in isolation." "It seeks to capitalize on society's fascination with the postapocalypse." It doesn't sound like too much fun to me and I won't be watching it, as it sounds like it will be stressful to watch. But I'm sure there will be plenty of viewers.
Apparently, according to an article in the NY Times, It's Doomsday Once Again. Are We Having Fun Yet?, by Brain Stelter, The Colony series will "join a well-worn breed of fiction-part fear and part fantasy-about the challenge to survive, as chronicled in the best-selling novel 'The Road,' the cult favorite CBS show 'Jericho' and a raft of recent movies including 'I Am Legend and 'Cloverfield.' I haven't seen any of them, I don't like to scare myself. I tend to think too much to begin with........ "Doomsday will be a subject of no fewer than four films in the coming months, as well as an NBC series, 'Day One.' It seems, "The cinematic end of the world has been and still is, entertaining. " Not for me, as a life-long learner I'd rather read non-fiction books and Scripture than watch frightening movies or TV shows. But it seems there is plenty of interest in this topic.
So what would Jesus say about all this? I won't quote the biblical passages from Matthew 24 titled, "The Beginning of Calamities," or "The Great Tribulation." (I don't want to scare you or myself.) But I will quote Jesus when he says concerning the end times or the end of the world as we know it, But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven nor the Son, but the Father alone......Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.......So too, you must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. 
Stay Awake, Jesus says. (I think He means- be alert, be careful, live mindfully. He certainly is not suggesting you lose sleep over this.)  And I would add, say your prayers, do good deeds, stay the course no matter what obstacles appear. When the trials come (and they will come, if you are on a spiritual journey), keep the faith, for God is real. God will always be near to us, when we ask in sincerity for God's mercy, help and divine presence. 

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.  (Isaiah 54:10)

Do not be afraid! (Mt 10:31)