What I did not say yesterday, beloved reader, was that this week is a busy one. In the course of this one week we have – the Ascension of the Lord, Mary visiting Elizabeth, and the normal verses for the seventh week of Easter. I foresee myself writing every day this week! And having to choice which scripture passages are best to chose for each of the days.
Today’s passage – as you can see from the title – the epistle passage and once again it is from the book of Revelation. I think my pondering and musing of last week (see Sixth Sunday of Easter – The Epistle Passage ) helped me put the book of Revelation into a perspective I can work with. It is illuminating to read what others have written about their understanding of the Divine, at the time that they were living. Within the inspiration that the books and writings of the bible were written with is the foundational truth of the Divine. Our task is to discern what that basic truth is, and what is applicable to us.
“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work.” (Revelation 22:12)
The writer of Revelation had his purpose in writing, and it is enough for us to know and understand that for that time it was what needed to be said.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.” (Verses 13 – 14)
Just as the gospel writers included what they felt needed to be said and remembered, so too did the writer of Revelation. What makes it difficult is that the things Jesus said were not as predictive as what we find here.
“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.” (Verses 16 – 17)
And as I also reminded myself, we are reading scripture that was not directed towards. It is like reading one of Paul’s letters. We glean what is good for us, and what does not illuminate our faith journey we leave for others to decide how to make use of it.
“The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” (Verses 20 – 21)
The book of Revelation says much about the end of all days will be like. It is part metaphor, part analogy, part allegory, and part symbolism. It does make me wonder how the readers of this book responded to it. We know it became part of the biblical canon. (I will NOT beloved reader get into a conversation about that now.) And the Revised Common Lectionary includes it in the chosen readings. That is how it came down to me; and I in turn present it to you. What I do not say is . . . this is exactly how it will be at the end of all days. What I do say is . . . . this is how one writer presented his views and opinions to his contemporaries. What here speaks to you?
May you, beloved reader, with the inspiration of the Divine and the Holy Presence that moves among us find inspiration and illumination for your life. Selah!