THE MOST COMPLICATED TIME PIECE OF ALL
Eighty years ago two wealthy friends, New York banker Henry Graves Jr and Ohio automaker James Packard, both watch collectors, were in a friendly race to see who could come up with the world’s most complicated watch. But Graves clearly won the bet when he commissioned Swiss watchmaker Patek Phillipe to design what became known as the Supercomplication—a 1.5 inch thick gold pocket watch that took eight years to craft. Complicated? Are you kidding! “Among the watch’s features are a double face, perpetual calendar, phases of the moon, a chronograph that can time two simultaneous events, Westminster chimes, and indications for the time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky over New York’s Central Park as seen from Graves’ home on Fifth Avenue” (http://nypost.com/2014/11/11/pocket-watch-clocks-in-at-nearly-24m-at-auction/). Cost to Graves—$13,000 (no small sum in 1933). This Tuesday the Supercomplication went on the auction block at Sotheby’s in Geneva. For fifteen dramatic minutes five bidders competed to possess it. When the dust settled, the Supercomplication became the most expensive time piece in history, sold to an anonymous bidder for $23,983,140. At that price you can be safe in predicting the new owner won’t be carrying it around in his pocket for show and tell! Supercomplication. Not an inappropriate name for a time-keeping device. After all, what is more complicated than our human attempt to “keep time?” Nobody has yet been able to keep very much of it, have they? Supercomplicated time is how some regard an ancient prophecy in Daniel 8:14. “Two-thousand three-hundred evenings and mornings,” the Hebrew reads. A slice of prophetic time that scholars calculate to span from ancient Babylon to our own age of history. And when the timepiece of divine prophecy struck the prophesied hour, these scholars are certain the human race was ushered into the divine endgame strategy of “cleansing the sanctuary,” a celestial judgment (see Daniel 7:10) in which the dark records of the Rebel’s long war against the Kingdom will be eventually purged. Thus Daniel’s cryptic prophecy lends compelling to Revelation’s declaration that the hour of God’s judgment has come (Revelation 14:7). Which means there is nothing complicated about the urgent intent of Holy Scripture to remind its third millennial readers we live in the predicted endtime of moral cleansing. Business as usual long ago vanished. “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). It is cleansing time. But is that so complicated a thought? Didn’t the death of Christ on the cross open a fountain of spiritual cleansing for all who seek His purifying grace (Zechariah 12:10/13:1)? Hasn’t the moral cleansing of His children ever been God’s passionate vision and promise? And for a generation living at a time when more and more believe the sudden demise of earth as we know it is a credible possibility, is it so complicated to believe it is imperative we take seriously Christ’s offer of “a special work of purification, of putting away of sin” NOW? “Galaxy Three.” Watch the final three episodes (archived at this website). The King, the Rebel, the loyalists, the war. And you and me. Because it is no longer “long ago and far away.” The endgame has arrived. It really is cleansing time.