I love stories with a happy ending and with resolve for the plot. I want to know what happens to the characters and imagine what their lives will be like after the resolution. Yes, I think we all want that. We do not like stories that leave us hanging, wondering with no hope of resolve.
“God’s Word ends with a flourish: vision and song, doom and deliverance, terror and triumph. The rush of color and sound, image and energy, leaves us reeling. But if we persist through the initial confusion and read on, we begin to pick up the rhythms, realize the connections, and find ourselves enlisted as participants in a multidimensional act of Christian worship.
John of Patmos, a pastor of the late first century, has worship on his mind, is preeminently concerned with worship. The vision, which is The Revelation, comes to him while he is at worship on a certain Sunday on the Mediterranean island of Patmos. He is responsible for a circuit of churches on the mainland whose primary task is worship. Worship shapes the human community in response to the living God. If worship is neglected or perverted, our communities fall into chaos or under tyranny.
Our times are not advantageous to pure worship. The times never are. The world is hostile to worship. The Devil hates worship. As The Revelation makes clear, worship must be carried out under conditions decidedly uncongenial to it. Some Christians even get killed because they worship.
John’s Revelation is not easy reading. Besides being a pastor, John is a poet, fond of metaphor and symbol, image and allusion, passionate in his desire to bring us into the presence of Jesus believing and adoring. But the demands he makes on our intelligence and imagination are well rewarded, for in keeping company with John, our worship of God will almost certainly deepen in urgency and joy!” –Eugene Peterson
Are you ready to dive in? Are you ready to worship God in a deeper, more profound way, letting everything else go? Then let’s journey together and see how the story of God ends…or begins!
Revelation, The Message
1-2 A revealing of Jesus, the Messiah. God gave it to make plain to his servants what is about to happen. He published and delivered it by Angel to his servant John. And John told everything he saw: God’s Word— the witness of Jesus Christ!
3 How blessed the reader! How blessed the hearers and keepers of these oracle words, all the words written in this book!
Time is just about up.
Dear Heavenly Father, All my life, I have felt like time is just about up so I hurried to get things done, to set things right, to work for you as a servant of Your Word, telling your story before “time” was up. Your revelation to John is our happily ever after beginning (not ending) to Your story of Who you are and the reason for our creation, our very existence. We begin this study with worship of You, the One and Only God! Thank you, Lord!
In Jesus Name, Amen