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Guest Blog: Doomsday and Christmas by Steven Lyle Jordan

Post by: Kabita Sonowal









This is an exclusive guest blog for BookChums by American sci-fi writer writer and futurist, Steven Lyle Jordan.


When I was asked to contribute a guest blog here, two topics were suggested to me: Christmas; or Doomsday.


My automatic response was: Why not both?  After all, the two subjects are strongly intertwined.  Christmas is a celebration of the birth of a child who has defended us all in preparation for the eventual End of Days… and whom we all hope to see, somehow, when Doomsday finally arrives.


Doomsday has been in a lot of discussion lately, of course, thanks to the Mayan calendar and its imminent Last Day There Is.  Though no one really knows why it ends on December 21… or if the Mayans knew something about that date that we don’t… many believe that on that day, Doomsday arrives.  Some of those clearly hope they’ll see a hand leading them to the Promised Land.  Others figure it will be yet another excuse to get liquored up and go out in a blaze of glory.


And some of us see both Christmas and Doomsday as merely another of the mechanisms humans have developed in order to make some sense of our daily lives and give us another reason to press on.  Yes… even Doomsday has a place in our desire to live, and our need to believe there’s something special about us.  People like abstract reminders of the things they love or fear; and Christmas and Doomsday serve that purpose.  They provide a place for us to mentally download our concerns of the real world into, relieving some of our daily burdens to make life a little easier.


Whether or not there is a God, which I’ll not debate here, religion, the worship of God(s), was invented by Man.  Religion is a means for men to attempt to bring themselves closer to God, to understand what God has in store for them, and learn what they can do to make sure God smiles upon them when the time comes.  That time, of course, is Doomsday.  And one of the ways that those aligned with Christianity hope to make their God smile down upon them, is to demonstrate their love of and sacrifice to others.  Symbolic of that is God’s child, Jesus, who lived and died bearing our sins for us; and we honor that love and sacrifice by celebrating his birth on Christmas.  It’s true that in countries like the U.S., that symbolic demonstration of love has become a very crass and commercial show of lights, colored paper and silly gifts, seemingly far removed from the original intent of the holiday.  But everyone celebrates in different ways… and it truly is the thought that counts.


The Mayan Doomsday event is not the only thing that has men fearing the end of the world.  Asteroids from space… climate change… plague… nuclear armageddon…  financial collapse… zombies or space aliens… you name it, and somewhere you’ll find someone who’s convinced that their threat du jour will bring about our end.  Of those, some try to prepare for their personal Doomsday, arranging ways to survive beyond the disaster.  Others choose to believe there will be no surviving, and so they make plans to have a last hurrah when the time comes.


But there’s one thing that both of these events have in common, and always will.  Whether it’s Christmas, Doomsday, Mardi Gras or Super Bowl Sunday… at heart all major events have this in common.  They encourage people to come together.  To join with loved ones and reinforce relationships, especially those relationships that struggle to be maintained against the crazy existence we call daily life.  To remind others, and ourselves, that there are more important things than jobs, toys, bosses, taxes and struggle.  That what is most important is today—not two thousand years ago, or a few weeks from now—and the loved ones with whom we share all our todays.

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