The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


A couple of years ago, whilst holidaying in Barbados, Rod noticed a great number of handbills affixed to posts and walls in the villages. These indicated that the end of the world was imminent and that preparations ought to be made immediately. People went about their pursuits of happiness, totally unconcerned, and the event did not then occur. Rod was reminded of Greek Mythology, whereby the seeress Cassandra was endowed with the gift of predicting gloom and calamity. Unfortunately for her, Apollo had decreed that no-one would believe her!

Early in AD2012 articles appeared in some newspapers, suggesting that the world will end on 21st December 2012. This was supposedly predicted by reference to the Mayan Calendar. Closer scrutiny of the evidence however has shown an alternative interpretation. The Mayas were extraordinarily accurate in their observations of matters celestial and did not, after all, predict the world’s end but rather the endpoint of what has been called “The Great Cycle”. The Calendar then resets for the next era and starts again.

In the Revelation of St John the Divine it is written:

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (KJV Relevelation 22:13)

… and this, in Christian eyes is taken to mean that the second person of the Trinity (Christ) is eternal - before time and infinitely with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The names Alpha and Omega are those of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are often written as a cypher (see Rod’s cover page) and in conjunction with sacred paintings and carvings.

Of course, this does not prevent mankind from causing its own destruction. This is noted in the Book of Revelation as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each mounted on a steed of a different colour

- a white horse symbolising Pestilence

- a red horse symbolising War

- a black horse symbolising Famine

- a pale horse symbolising Death.

the four horsemen being harbingers of the end of the World and the Time of Judgment.

That total self destruction is a possibility was also hypothesised by Thomas Robert Malthus, whose essay in 1799 on population continues to haunt us. He theorised that, whilst humans tend to increase geometrically, the means of subsistence only increases arithmetically. Thus the world population will outrun the food necessary to supply them. This scenario already occurs in many parts of the world. The doomsday is only delayed by natural and man-made disasters which retard over-population. Current conditions in the world make this proposition self-evident.

Predictions of the precise day of Judgment have, in the past, been erroneous. However, it is our Christian duty to be prepared - and (following a Greek text) live every day as if it were to be our last.

Blest are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Rod Dawson

Autumn Edition 2012

Alpha and Omega