Revelations – We win in the end
Some of my favorite shows involve taking something broken, tired looking and unusable to new heights. Chip and Johanna Gains were my favorite, creative couple to watch. They saw things in the rubble that we could not see. I think I like watching them demolish the old and build the new because it was a spiritual as well as physical journey for them. They were just as excited about “the big reveal” as the couple waiting to see what transformed. Their work was to the benefit of the couple. These couples received a new home of great beauty because of a their makeover. I shed tears for the recipients as they walk through their new home with happy and astonished oohs and ahs.
I also love the show where women and sometimes men are taken away for a few hours for a complete makeover of their appearance. (I think I need this, just sayin’.) A tired looking school teacher, a mom of many, a grandma who still works gives themselves over to professionals who enhance their God given beauty. They make them over to a more glamorous, less tired looking person. We love the big reveal. Yes, I shed a tear when the family takes off the masks to see their loved one’s makeover.
What will it be like when we come to the end of the journey and see Christ at the end with our heavenly makeover for eternity? What will that big reveal be like? I can only imagine as the song goes.
God gives John a glimpse of the big reveal of the last days. John uses images to explain how Jesus will come back to claim His own. Spoiler alert…Yes, we win in the end!
The Bible ends with a flourish: vision and song, doom and deliverance, terror and triumph. This is the work of the makeover in and through us as God’s church! 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 firsts 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 propitious for worship. The times never are. The world is hostel to worship. The Devil HATES worship of God. 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.
Are you ready for the makeover?
Are you excited for The Big Reveal?
Are you ready to worship?!
Here we go…
Revelation 1, 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,
Speak to our hearts, minds and souls as we read, study and meditate on the revelations you gave to John. Do what you must in us so that we are brides ready for her groom, Jesus Christ. Transform me. Transform Your church. Transform the world. Keep us all focused on You as wait for Your return. I praise you for what You have done, are doing and will do in and through us.
In Jesus Name, Amen