What do we see when we read Revelation 21-22? “Streets of gold,” “no more tears”—sounds like “heaven,” by which we mean “where we go when we die, where we will spend eternity.” But is that what’s really going on here? What do we see in Revelation 21-22? What should we see? In Revelation 21-22, we … Continue reading The Lord’s Prayer Fulfilled
Jesus, coming as a divine warrior to slaughter God’s enemies. How do we make sense of this vision of judgment in Revelation 19? Let’s sharpen the question: How can we reconcile this Jesus with the Jesus of Revelation 5, where Jesus the Lion reigns not by slaughtering his enemies but by being the Lamb slain … Continue reading The (S)Word-Wielder
Revelation 6, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: domination, war, economic injustice, and death. Revelation 8-9, the Seven Trumpets and Three Woes: volcanoes, earthquakes, plagues of insects and disease, and war, always more war. Revelation 12-13, the Dragon and his Two Beasts: persecution, suffering, martyrdom for those who follow Jesus. Revelation 15-16, the Seven Bowls … Continue reading The Horrors of the Apocalypse
It’s Sunday morning, and we gather together as Christians to worship God. The specific experiences are as varied as the number of churches, but most worship services have a few things in common. We sing together—sometimes off-key, sometimes hymns too slowly, sometimes choruses too repetitively, too repetitively, too repetitively. We pray together—sometimes faltering, sometimes mumbling, … Continue reading Why Worship? Why Worship Together?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Revelation,” as in the last book in the Bible? Chances are pretty good you think about “end times prophecy” in some way, Revelation as depicting the end of the world at the end of human history. Probably a “rapture” comes to mind, with all the Christians … Continue reading Entering the Apocalypse
When we think of biblical Christmas stories, we naturally think of Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels. In fact, based on lifetimes of Christmas pageants and nativity scenes, in reality we probably imagine a harmonized Christmas story, bringing together various elements of each of these Gospels (Magi and shepherds together?). But these are not the only stories … Continue reading A Very Different Christmas Story