Punxsutawney Philemon Sees a Shadow
Every Feb. 2 a sober gathering of top-hat wearing theologians assembles at an ancient hill on the grounds of Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Mass.
The meeting is swelled by thousands of curious tourists and townspeople as well as media representatives. They await the emergence of Punxsutawney Philemon, a monkish faculty member who has been hibernating all winter in his Hobbit-like hole, a niche under an oak tree. He traditionally emerges, sniffs the air, takes a number of astronomical observations, performs a quick Google search, and then pronounces whether the Second Coming is imminent this year, or will be delayed.
Thanks for reading The Wittenburg Door Magazine! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our nonsense.
"The future is as dim as the gloomy, cloud-filled sky today," Phil sighs. "I haven't picked up any definitive signs of the Antichrist at the moment. So that indicates the Second Coming of Christ is also postponed."
There is a rustling of the crowd - some relieved, some expressing sadness, others shouting and crying out in alarm.
"There are a few good candidates however," he adds, as the crowd is brought to a hushed silence. "I perceived a big orange man looming on the horizon, opposed by another old, shuffling zombie-like politician. But these - neither of them - fit the pattern of evil that is required."
"Further away, I beheld a vision of a former Fox talking head conferring with the Russian bear. Wars and rumors of wars in Gaza, Ukraine and Yemen. Cruel oppression bears down on many of the world's people. And an unattached Bill Belichick roams the land, which is always a dangerous omen."
"Millions of invading immigrants breaching borders, hoping to clean your pools and roof your homes. A tumult of pandemics, natural disasters and rising temperatures caused by a lack of EV charging stations."
"A sexy pop singer overshadowing all media gives me pause. She mixes music with football, as God has clearly commanded us not to do. According to many commentators, the Jezebel spirit is strong with this one. But on closer reflection, I perceive her agenda is benign."
Philemon pauses as he surveys the gathering.
"Actually the shadow over the world that I see remains the same - slowly increasing in the mundane unkindness, apathy and greed that has existed since the Fall. That leaves us with only Jesus' word on the subject: "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
And with that Punxsutawney Philemon squeezed back into his hole, as the crowd dispersed, pondering his saying.