Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and a foul and painful sore came on those who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped its image. –Revelation 16:1-2
Revelation: A Vivid Vision
The book of Revelation is full of vivid – sometimes confusing and frightening – imagery. The author, John of Patmos, reveals a God-inspired vision that unfolds on a cosmic scale. Written to seven Christian communities, John’s vision is designed to inspire his audience – to comfort those who are struggling and to encourage those who have wandered astray to get their act together.
End of the World…
Just like us today, the Christians of John’s time did not find it easy to stay true to their God-given calling in a world shaped by conflicting values. The Roman empire was such a powerful force in people’s lives that some began to think and then to act as if Rome was more powerful than God. Here, a series of plagues put the record straight as to who is in charge – God, not Rome.
…or Heaven on Earth?
While many passages in Revelation are violent and unsettling to the modern ear, the book ends with a beautiful description of God’s renewing presence transforming our hurting world into a paradise where all find welcome and healing. What does God ultimately have in mind for God’s people according to John of Patmos? Not pain and suffering but hope and renewal. Thanks be to God!
In Christ, Pastor Kat