We can find a love story written in the story of our faith in Revelation. The beauty and wonder of the Christian story is that it is set in a complex world of persecution in a community that believes in love and that challenges empire. John, the author of Revelation, tells the Christian story in a world that used violence to kill the One who is Love. John’s account begins with a greeting of peace for all eternity from the One who is and who was and who is to come.
Despite its violence, John’s revelation is the account of love forever—the love that created paradise, that healed the brokenness of humankind, that promises salvation through the divine love that enters human history. Revelation promises that the world of violence and death does not have the last word and instead offers us a world in which death is no more when heaven and earth become one. This new world is populated by the cloud of witnesses and is the story of love forever.
The new world John’s vision offers calls us back to the beginning: the beauty of the night, where the darkness was on the face of the deep, and the joy of the light of day. God saw that it was good. Out of that goodness, our faith and John’s vision of the future insist that every child should hear this story of love with a full tummy, clean water, loving arms, no worry of war, and in a bed in which they sleep each night. God tells us all, “I love you and set you free to love.”
God of all that you call good, help us to tell your story of love out of our world of violence, and help us to work toward your world where death is no more. Amen.
After the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples are unable to remain silent. They go to the Temple to proclaim the gospel. Some receive the message, while others do not. This causes turmoil within the community, but the apostles stand firm in their testimony, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Psalm 150 might be on the lips of those early apostles. Everything that has breath should praise the Lord! The author of Revelation recounts a vision that he receives from the risen Jesus Christ, who one day will return as Lord of all nations. In John we learn more about the source of the confidence of the apostles. They have experienced Jesus in the flesh, and this experience gives power to their proclamation of the reality of his resurrection.
Read Acts 5:27-32. When has your faith compelled you to rise up, stand up, or kneel down in obedience to God rather than earthly authorities?
Read Psalm 150. When have you praised God with great noise? When have you praised God with quiet service to creation?
Read Revelation 1:4-8. How do you see peace arising out of violence in the Bible and in the world around you?
Read John 20:19-31. How have your experiences of witnessing violence or the results of violence helped you to understand that violence does not have the last word?
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