Thy Kingdom Come

Now we’re getting to the good part…Over the last few weeks, we have waded knee deep into Revelation, and some of the territory we have covered was designed to give us the willies. As we sought to decode some of the nastier stuff in Revelation, I kept reminding you that all of Revelation was ultimately about hope. Hope in the face of the terrifying. Hope in the face of the distressing. Hope in the face of the brokenness of this world. This week’s passage is about what that hope is directed toward. The last few chapters of Revelation are beautiful. They are poetic dreams of the best of all hopes. This is what we have been working toward all along. Again, a reminder that these are not necessarily eye witness accounts of what the kingdom of God looks like, but this is John dreaming of the very best realities that he can imagine and seeing these as the jumping off

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Decoding 800 Pound Gorillas

So this week we return to Revelation! We are going to cover an awful lot of territory on Sunday, but there is a really important reason for that—there are several 800 pound gorillas camped out in the pages of Revelation. Unfortunately, the lectionary skips over said gorillas, but we aren’t going to let sleeping gorillas lie.   I wanted to touch on one of those gorillas here to prepare you for Sunday. Perhaps one of the most memorable images from revelation is the beast marked 666 (Revelation 13:11-18). This image captures so much of the imagination. Funny thing is, there are numerous beasts within the pages of Revelation, and this one is arguably not even the most important. Nonetheless, it is worth some attention to “decode.” So is this some hideous beast that will come about at the end times? No. This beast was emperor Nero. We can say that pretty definitively because of mistakes that we have caught in

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god vs. God

I have been thinking a lot this week about why it matters that we stop thinking about Revelation as a book about the end of the world. I think the biggest reason to think differently about Revelation is the message that it sends about who God is. The god of the “Left Behind,” Premillenialist, doomsday predictors is a pretty nasty god. If this truly is who god is, than it is a god who looks more like the worst parts of humanity, rather than the best. This is a god who is more interested in power and wealth than the values that Jesus Christ represented in his time on earth, and simply does not jive with the Good News we have from the Gospels. On the other hand, if we understand that Revelation is not so much about the end of the world as it is about the metaphorical and symbolic depiction of all of the trials and tribulations and

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