Thursday, October 4, 2012

a revelation from God

Good afternoon sisters and brothers,
Today's reading introduces us to the Book of Revelation, also known as the Revelation of John, because it is a revelation from Jesus to John. The purpose of the revelation is to strengthen John and the church. They faced persecution, and things would likely get worse before they got better. In that situation it was important for God to remind the church that God was in charge. That's the big picture message of Revelation: God's love wins in the end.

Revelation is hard to read because it is a vision. Like dreams, things happen in Revelation that don't make sense. The language is very symbolic and fantastical. Our passage today features Jesus with a sword coming from his mouth. I think the key to reading Revelation is to take it in stride. Don't try to figure out exactly what it "means" but look for the bigger message. While it is at times violent, over all Revelation is a message of hope for the church. We always need that hope, so listen to what the Spirit says to the church.

God bless,

Revelation 1:1-2, 9-18
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

9I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11saying, “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. 14His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

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