What do you do for an encore on the Day After Tomorrow? As a follow-up to Doomsday, Armageddon or Independence Day? If your name is Roland Emmerich then it had to be producing the apotheosis of all disaster movies, 2012. To be more precise, the 21st December 2012, i.e, tomorrow, in two years time. Because that’s the day the Mayan "Long Count" calendar ends. On that day, in the film at least, a solar storm results in changes in the Earth's core, triggering gigantic earthquakes, super-volcanoes, and truly apocalyptic disasters. I confess – I enjoyed the film – if you can ever ‘enjoy’ a portrayal of the end of the world. The wide screen set pieces are literally jaw-dropping. The heroes race through a disintegrating landscape, literally riding a rolling cataclysm consuming the earth directly under their wheels. Crumbling skyscrapers, tumbling vehicles and heaving shelves of rock, slide whole cities into the abyss or beneath the waves. The other memorable scene occurs when a crack runs the length of the Sistine Chapel ceiling—directly between the adjacent fingers of God and Adam. Outside, a crowd of thousands keep vigil in St. Peter's Square. They hold candles, while the pope looks down from his balcony and a group of cardinals pray within the basilica. But St. Peter's, along with the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, go the way of all landmarks in an Roland Emmerich film.
Is he making a religious statement? Well, probably, for, without giving too much away, the concluding scene resembles another well known story from Genesis. My worry is that the film typifies the “apocalyptic subculture" fuelled by books, websites, YouTube videos and movies at a time of heightened fear—about terrorism, al Qaeda, Iran, nuclear weapons and religious fundamentalism. Add to that climate change, global warming, natural disasters, disease pandemics, AIDS, the economic meltdown, the debt burden, diminishing fuel reserves and food shortages, and we are at the mercy of ‘chick-little’ gloom and doom prophets who predict the end of the world. Sadly some popular Christian writers seem just as determined to stir the pot and bring on death and destruction to our world. One day God will indeed wrap up history as we know. But that shouldn’t paralyze us. It should energise us. God doesn’t want to destroy this world. He wants to deliver us.
“God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
Read more here cc-vw.org/sermons/carols2009.htm