Thursday, January 16, 2014
The four horsemen
Good afternoon sisters and brothers,
When we read Revelation it is important to remember that it is a vision. The language is symbolic and sometimes, like in today's reading, the symbolism isn't quite clear. I don't exactly see what the individual riders and horses symbolize, but the effect of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse," is that many of the earth's inhabitants die as history moves towards the end. That's a disturbing thing to think about, and at the same time we know that people die every day due to human and natural disaster. The interesting thing is that Jesus, the Lamb, opens the seals, revealing (as in Revelation) the events of the end. Somehow, through all the trouble in the world and at the world's end, God's love will shine through.
Revelation 6: 1-8
Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures call out, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and there was a white horse! Its rider had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer.
3When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, “Come!” 4And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another; and he was given a great sword. 5When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand, 6and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s pay, and three quarts of barley for a day’s pay, but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”
7When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature call out, “Come!” 8I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him; they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and pestilence, and by the wild animals of the earth.