I hear a rumor that the world is going to end soon. I have heard that same rumor before, several times.
The first time was in Montrose back in – let’s see, 1921 – when I was about 8 years old I heard that a group of residents dressed in white garments went out in the dark to a hilltop to await the Second Coming and the Apocalypse.
I was excited and interested. Dawn came, nothing had happened. Finally the believers dispersed, I guess. I wondered how they felt, what they thought, how disappointed they must have been.
This scenario occurred several more times through the years.
The world has ended more than once in people’s expectations.
There’s a story about a monk in a medieval monastery.
An angel told him, “The world is going to end tomorrow at four o’clock. What will you be doing when the Lord comes then?”
He said, “At four o’clock? I’ll be working in my garden.”
So, dear folks, let’s be like him, and just keep on doing what we do, and wait and see if anything surprising or – surprisingly – nothing at all happens at the solstice. I have an idea the sun is just going to keep on shining and the Earth is still going to keep on rotating.
If we wish, we can buy extra batteries for flashlights to last through the “three days of darkness” that I also have heard rumors about.
That will be a test far smaller than the struggles of all the thousands of people hit by earthquakes, genocides, fires, floods. Their worlds already have ended for each of them individually. Let’s do whatever we can for them, with courage and compassion.
How better to celebrate Christmas.