Susquehanna Morning

Susquehanna Morning

Monday, December 7, 2015

Advent 2 Monday: Revelation

Let your light scatter the darkness, O God: kindle your lamp in our hearts.

Our passage this evening is from the book of Revelation 1:1-8. We are reading the Common English Bible translation.


A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. Christ made it known by sending it through his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the witness of Jesus Christ, including all that John saw. Favored is the one who reads the words of this prophecy out loud, and favored are those who listen to it being read, and keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

John, to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace and peace to you from the one who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before God’s throne, and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen.
Look, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. This is so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.”

If you wish to continue with Lectio Divina, click here; you can return to this page for meditation and prayer.


An excursus: 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say, Revelation has to be the most misunderstood and misused book in scripture. First, everyone wants to call it RevelationS, plural, when it is actually RevelatioN, singular.

Oh that that were the worst of it. 

While this isn't a bible study, I am not comfortable even writing a brief meditation on a passage of Revelation in this context without sharing at least a few things for us to keep in mind about this book, the last book in the Christian bible.

1. I believe that the interpretation of Revelation popularized by the "Left Behind" series (which, itself, is based on a crackpot theory born in 18th century England) has been appropriated to a particular political agenda that is neither true to the original intent of the author, nor to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. I believe that any interpretation of Revelation that doesn’t hold that healing at its center has stepped away from the gospel. 

3. I believe that any interpretation of Revelation that attempts to use it as a blueprint for end times is sheer charlatanism. 

4. I believe that the author of Revelation was writing to a church-- a world-- in crisis, a place that was frightening, violent, and unpredictable.

5. I believe that the author is very clear that he is sharing something that has been "revealed" to him or "uncovered" for him. He is sharing visions that, he believes, "must soon take place." Many of his visions are descriptions of events that did, in fact, take place in the 1st century.

6. I believe these visions are meant to give hope to people who are suffering and oppressed.

Now, to this evening's meditation.


Where is God?
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one who is, and who was, and who is to come."

This is an odd answer to my question.

Where is God? God IS.

Yes, but WHERE?

God IS. In fact, in the Hebrew scriptures, God's very name is Being..... "I AM Who AM."

God IS.


And God WAS.

Ah. Now we're getting somewhere. Even in the worst of times, I can usually remember when God WAS.

I was thirteen. I was on a youth retreat with other kids from my high school. We were sitting around an old painted table in a lighthouse-keeper's house, handing around terrible juice and chicken nuggets as it grew darker outside, and we were telling everyone the good and beautiful things we saw in each other, person by person. It was an AGAPE feast, a word meaning, basically, "God-Love."

And I am here to tell you, GOD WAS.


I think I'm getting it now.

God IS. God WAS. God IS TO COME.

The Alpha and the Omega.

Every eye will see him.

OK. I think... I think I'm getting it now.

Every eye will see him.

Yes. Yes.



"Cantique de Jean Racine" by Gabriel Faure, sung by the Cambridge Singers


God, you who are, and who were, and who are still to come: make us faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ— the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Let us share our knowledge of your presence and your love, in his name. Amen.

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