Hope in the hallelujah chorus of heaven (Revelation 19:1-2)

Revelation 19:1-2

God wrote a song which his people will sing at the consummation of the age, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgements are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants (Revelation 19:1-2).” (It might help to know that the great prostitute here symbolizes all that opposes God’s good and gracious reign on earth.)   

We long for that day when all who hope in Christ see their hope crystalized. Are we not surrounded by death all day long? Mourning? Pain? Bitterness? Do not our own psychological and emotional well-being attest to our longing for a better world, the happy ending to which all happy-endings point? We long to say words like those that one of the characters in C.S. Lewis’s Narnia exclaims: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.”

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The Theology of Balaam’s Donkey (Revelation 2:14)

The theology of Balaam's Donkey

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Revelation 2:14

In the Bible, God’s Holy Word, we find two accounts of animals that spoke human language. The first took place within the Land of Eden, in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3, a Serpent speaking to Eve. Then, in Numbers 20-24, the wicked prophet Balaam was rebuked by his donkey for beating him. Continue reading

Into the Wilderness of Advent (Revelation 11:15)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Revelation 11:15

The wilderness implies many things: a vast untamed and dangerous place, red of tooth and claw, where death and injury lurk. We travel into the wildernesses of the world with great preparation and forethought. Continue reading

Everybody Worships (Revelation 5), Part 2 of 2

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Revelation 5

Last week we entered into the glorious worship scene of John’s vision, recorded in Revelation 5. We left off with John weeping. He was weeping, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll in the hand of God. That scroll represented God’s plan to right all the wrong in the world. Without anyone to open it, creation was doomed. The same can be said of our culturally constructed salvation narratives. These narratives promise redemption, yet – as we saw last week – they cannot deliver on those promises. In the end they leave us weeping, like John before the unopened scroll. Continue reading

Everybody Worships (Revelation 5), Part 1 of 2

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Revelation 5

The word “worship” is not a uniquely religious word. Everybody worships something or someone. The late author David Foster Wallace once said, “There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. Continue reading