Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tenerife, Easter 2157

Ask the pilot -

2007 was the 30th anniversary of 583 people being killed when two 747s collided on the island of Tenerife on a foggy Sunday afternoon. Next year will be the 40th anniversary, but the 27th will be a Tuesday and Easter will be the 16th of April.

Easter fell on the 27th in the years 1622, 1633, 1644, 1701, 1712, 1785, 1796, 1842, 1853, 1864, 1910, 1921, 1932, 2005, 2016, and for those that are interested, the next time it will be on the 27th is 2157.  I have faith that Easter will be the most important day for all eternity to me on Easter 2157 -- but for those of no faith, time will have long ceased the next time Easter falls on this day -- as it did for 583 people on the non-Easter Sunday afternoon March 27, 1977 on a little island off the coast of Morocco.

It was the spring of my junior year at UWEC, a little over a year later in June of '78 I would start at IBM, but eternity started for those people that Sunday. Easter in '77 was April the 10th. I certainly remember the horror at the accident, but was affected more by American Airlines 191 Memorial Day 1979 losing an engine on takeoff from O'Hare in Chicago. The picture of the stricken jet rolling to the side and the loss of all 270 aboard was especially horrifying. I had and would fly out of O'Hare and would fly on a DC-10 a number of times -- they shook and flexed a lot on takeoff, usually a few of the overhead bins would pop open to add to the effect.

There is something odd about human thought relative to time. We feel emotionally quite different about dates prior to our birth, than we do about dates far enough in the future that they are certainly beyond our deaths. None of us existed for Easter in 1701 or 1712 either, but at least for me that feels differently from Easter 2157. Even my precious granddaughter who will turn 1 this year, would turn 101 in 2116 if she is so lucky -- her grandfather will be LONG gone!

We know we had a beginning, and things before our beginning when we did not exist don't bother us. But as we look into the future, we either sense or imagine that "we will be somewhere". Or is it just Christians that that feeling?

Over two thousand years ago we know that Christ died on the Cross and then appeared to over 500 after his resurrection. We separate time into BC and AD because of that event of all events. For Christians, it is THE EVENT of eternal significance.

It makes Easter 2157 a joyous prospect.

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