Letter - December 2001
as the year draws to a close, I think we can safely conclude that 2001 was
nothing like the film was it?
No manned space missions to Jupiter.
No computers clever enough to hold a conversation with.
No mysterious contacts with super-intelligent alien life forms.
that should not surprise us.
If you remember, the year 1984 was nothing like George Orwell's book
managed to avoid the repression of a world-wide dictatorship by Big Brother,
though I think the dark arts of spin and PR have got somewhat closer to the
novel's speculations about thought-control.
fairness neither 2001 nor 1984 ever set out
to be serious explorations of what would be, only what may be.
They took vision to the limit.
1984 was published in 1949.
2001 was released in 1968.
They looked ahead 35 and 33 years respectively.
Just within the boundaries of what might be seen.
Looking ahead a similar amount of time takes me into my late 70s.
I may be lucky enough to be enjoying a long and healthy retirement, but I
will almost certainly be living in the last era of my life.
season of Advent calls us to speculate upon that future which will be found
right at the extreme edge of this life.
Its themes are those of standing before God in judgement, mysterious
visions of heaven and hell.
It may seem dim and distant, in reality it is not.
It is only just around the corner.
the speculations of 1984 and 2001, the years
themselves did eventually come around.
Similarly, we too will find ourselves standing at that horizon which is
the end of this life and the beginning of the next.
It may not be exactly like the pronouncements of the book of Revelation,
but make no mistake, it will arrive, and we may find the speculations of St John
closer to reality than Orwell ever achieved.
At least in the vision of St John, one of the outcomes was heaven!
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