Showing posts from April, 2013

Making Sense of Revelation - Part II

Throughout the season of Easter we have been reading a series of lessons from the book of the Revelation of John.   These lessons will continue through May 12 – Easter 7.   So far we have had the opportunity to explore a series of passages from chapters 1, 4 and 7 and then there is a jump to the end of the book – to chapters 21 and 22.   So, our lectionary skips over chapters 8 through 19, which contain some of the most vivid and also difficult visions in the book.   It is this part of the Apocalypse that includes the 7 trumpets, the 7 plagues, the beasts, the great harlot and the great battle.   It is this section of the book that also has prompted some of the most outrageous interpretations.   Hal Lindsay and the “Left Behind” series have managed to see nuclear war and attack helicopters in this part of the book.   And many others point to these chapters a biblical proof that God will utterly destroy the earth and all those who are not a part of the inside crowd

Reflections on the text: Revelation 7:9-17

Read the text here: Revelation 7:9-17 Pablo Piccaso - "Weeping Woman" An audio recording of my sermon on this text can be found here: Wartburg Parish Website The Great Ordeal It might be good to take a moment to review where we are after two weeks in this challenging series of lessons from the Book of Revelation.   We are focusing on the text from the standpoint of first determining what it meant for the author and his initial audience and then, once we have that understanding we can more easily see the implications for us in our lives and in our situations.   When we do this we begin to see that this book is not the strange and complex series of violent predictions of the end of the world that many have come to see in this book, rather this is a pastoral letter of comfort and challenge to a community of congregations, sent to them by their pastor.   It is not written in code, but rather the images clearly address very practical issues of how to live as a Chris
Read the text here: Revelation 1:4-8 A Vision from Patmos Of all the books in the New Testament there is none quite as controversial and difficult to read and understand as the last book, the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John.   Revelation is filled with all kinds of wild and strange visions and a quick reading can leave the reader completely baffled as to what in the world is John trying to convey.   This has led to a whole host of different approaches to interpreting this book.   Some believe that everything is in code and all you need to do is to discover, or figure out the code and it will unlock the mysteries of the universe and you will be able to see God’s timetable for the end of the world.   For these interpreters who think of Revelation as a “roadmap” to the end times, those fantastic visions are filled with horror and terror.   They see global destruction in those images and for them the book should induce fear.   This fear-based “roadmap” app