Thursday, November 10, 2005

Revelation 19:1-10

For people who have become bored with standard sports like golf or baseball, there is a new generation of activities called Extreme Sports. These feature a combination of speed, height, danger and spectacular stunts.

An example might be the relatively new sport of “thong grabbing”. This refers--of course!-- to the type of flip flops that are often called sandals or flip flops. Basically you jump off an obstacle and on the way down try to grab something with your sandals to break you fall. Check it out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thong_Grabbin%27 if you are interested.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, John, in Revelation, uses what might be called “extreme pictures” — radically contrasting images of good and evil, light and darkness, life and death.

He does this to remind us of the essential truth of life: that you and I are headed for one of two spiritual destinies, and there’s nothing bland or lukewarm about either one of them.

We were made for extreme closeness with God-- extreme love, joy, meaning, and purpose if you will . But if we reject that, if we reject God, if we oppose him, then human beings, John tells us, will end up with extreme aloneness, hopelessness, and despair.

But either way, we are all headed for reality in a much more extreme form than we know it now. This world is only a shadow of what it is to come.

In this passage the image is that of a heavenly marriage. The truth it teaches is that we are made for an extreme intimacy with God that will satisfy our deepest longings to be loved and accepted. The vision is particularly compelling in that when the guests see the delight of the groom and the joy of the bride, and they cry out, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"

But there is also verse 7 "And the bride has made herself ready." Every time we obey, do an act of service or extend God’s love, we experience a little deeper intimacy with God, and the bride gets a little more ready. So, here is the question: What do we need to do to get ready?

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