Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Revelation 11:14-19

The book of Revelation is filled with exciting images, fearful predictions of the punishment of those who are not faithful, and ultimately a wonderful picture of what eternal life with God will be like. In this passage, God’s reign is established on earth. It is no longer something that is going to happen sometime way out in the future, it is established now. In verse 15 we read “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And in verse 19 we read that the temple of God was opened and the Ark of the Covenant seen. This is the same Ark that was in King Solomon’s temple, that the Israelites carried around with them when they went to war. This is the Ark that carried the presence of God on earth. No one dared opened it – you may remember this from the Indiana Jones movie – or terrible things happened.

What’s interesting to me is that we are only finished with the second “woe” – there are still many more “woes” to come for those who are not faithful to God. This isn’t even the half way point and yet the kingdom of God is established in the midst of these woes on earth. I find that to be comforting. I never find it helpful to attempt to analyze Revelation to try to predict the end of time and Jesus’ return. I’m afraid I might find myself standing on a mountaintop somewhere shouting “I’m Ready!”. So I just live in the present. And while I don’t analyze the goings on around the world and I don’t know if anything we are seeing is a “woe” as described in Revelation, I do know that there are a lot of things that are woe-full happening – wars, injustice, people starving, children abused… all horrible, woe-full things. It is a comfort to me to think of the Kingdom of God being established in the midst of that and that the presence of God might be able to be seen. The end of time will happen at some point, now I’m hopeful that we can find the kingdom of God all around us, if we just stay faithful and look for it.

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