Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Fig Tree

12th May 2007, seh, mgh


5) What is Generation X?

Coinciding with the growing strength of the nation of Israel in 1967, and the emergence of many 'national trees', there was a new phenomenon that sociologists have called Generation X.

What really prompted the naming of this era in western civilization as Generation X? There seems little logic in this. To call it the Age of Protest would seem more appropriate. Both Matthew 24 and Luke 21 specifically use this term in connection with the blossoming of the fig tree. Is this just a coincidence that the period Generation X coincides with the emergence of Israel as a nation and the multiplicity of nations as 'trees' appearing to join the United Nations?

Mary Gordon in 1998 examining 100 years of the New York Times says this of 1967

“The years 1966 and 1967 were particularly schizophrenic, marked on the one hand by despair and rage over Vietnam and the poor, and on the other by a sense of carnival brought about by the conjunction of drugs, sex and rock-and-roll. It was a year (1967) marked by the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and by the violent demonstrations that tore apart one of New York's most venerable institutions, Columbia University.”

Throughout history significant periods have been identified by descriptive titles. For instance we have had the Elizabethan Age, the Age of Discovery, and The Industrial Age. Beginning in the late 1960's we have a clearly defined and recognisable Generation X. This the first time society has ever used the terminology “generation” to define a social phenomenon. This new terminology appears highly significant. Why?

It describes a period in which so much of society's norms, morals and values have been almost turned upside down. Beginning with many protest movements in the 1960's, especially in relation to the Vietnam War. the Baby Boomers laid the foundation for the Generation X which has been defined by sociologists as beginning in the period 1965-1967.

Or is this in the Divine plan and that one verse in Matthew and Luke shines as a gem and a glimmer of hope in a decadent age for the faithful of the last days?

We could argue that the parallel with the fig tree is conjecture and mere coincidence. On the other hand Yahshua was never one to waste words and he clearly has put forward a 'sign'. He says to his followers “Now learn”. He then puts this thing we are to learn into a parable, to make us think. If this understanding of the parable is correct, the events of 1967 are the shooting forth of the leaves on the new wood heralding the coming of summer. They are a warning to those of this generation, who await the coming Kingdom, to prepare ourselves for “the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”(Luke 21: 31)