Christian hope and the Mayan calendar

Mayan-Calendar“’The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” (Lamentations 3:24 ESV).

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:36-37 NIV84).

Have you been following this news about the Mayan calendar? Since the 5,000 year old calendar runs out on December 21, 2012, many people are concerned that the world is coming to an end.

This apocalyptic mania has spread across the globe. In Russia, a company is selling an “Apocalypse Kit” that contains food, medicine and a bottle of vodka. In France, authorities have temporarily closed the road to the Pyrenees to prevent throngs from fleeing to the hills in fear of the end times.

I don’t understand the panic. The Norman Rockwell calendar that I get free from the drugstore most years is down to the last page, but I’m not worried. Hopefully, they’ll send me another one for 2013.

It’s not that I don’t believe in end times. I do. It’s just that I believe what Jesus said about it. He told His disciples that they should always be ready because He would return some day, but he also told them that no one would know the exact time. Jesus gave us signs of the end times… an increase of wars, earthquakes, famines, persecution of believers, false prophets, an increase of wickedness and a decrease in love, as the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24). He said that the gospel would be preached in the whole world so that every nation had heard and then the end would come (Matthew 24:14).

Jesus said that it is as if the world itself is in labor with birth pangs as the end approaches. Just as young Mary labored to give birth to baby Jesus, so the earth itself labors until His return. And He will return.

Just as Jesus came 2000 years ago at the very first Christmas, so He is coming again. He has already fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of His birth, satisfying the hopes of seekers and believers of old, like the Magi and old Simeon who saw him with their own eyes.

He will return just as He said. But when? Well, only the Father knows.

Tumblr_lp5vqyDmXd1qfuohco1_400In the meantime, ours is to watch and wait, while telling others about our hope in Christ. Because we have not placed our hopes in a calendar, but in a Person, the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the object of our hope.

By the way, I like this cartoonist’s explanation of the Mayan calendar. Don’t you?

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