Revelation is Never Easy

I’m filling in at Sunday morning bible Class at Resurrection on May 19.  I can teach anything I would like.  Since I’m preaching on Rev. 22 on June 2, over in Illinois, and the Epistle lesson for May 19, is from Rev. 21, why not give myself a head start by looking at the texts leading into Rev. 22.  You will recall that Rev. 22 is the last book of the bible and starts with the river flowing with the water of life right down main street.

Rev. 21 begins with the Bride of Christ, New Jerusalem, which is the church descending from heaven and God taking up residence on the earth in the New earth and new heaven.  To understand that whole new earth and heaven thing we need to look back at the description of the resurrection in Rev. 20:11-15 which also mentions heaven and earth fleeing God.  But then to understand the resurrection scene we need to look at the judgment of all the demonic enemies of the believers which is featured in chapters 17-20:10. Then we need to look at the first and second deaths and the first and second resurrections.

But to understand the Bride of Christ we need to look at Rev. 19:6-9.

Now if you are still hanging in there with me and not twirling around in circles you can see that if I’m not careful I’m going to end up back in Rev. 1.  By the way speaking of circles, Rev. is not written in a linear fashion beginning at the beginning and ending at the end.  It is a series of circles which lap back on one another with flash backs and leaps ahead, besides all the visions of seven horned beasts and numbers that aren’t to be taken literally.

But despite the risk of turning into a whiling dervish, I am going to teach Rev. 21 on May 19, after we cover parts of Chapter 20. Take that John.

Leaving the Maple Helicopter Pad on a Sunday Morning

            We left our maple helicopter pad, with a light scent of Japanese lilac lingering, at 7:05 aiming the blue Kia for Illinois.  Across the Father of Waters on the J.B Bridge we traveled, where the ol’ man river was still free to roam from home into Illinois backwaters.  Greed feeding dikes and levees turning the river into a piped channel in the name of progress and economic development have not yet been inflicted on this area south of St. Louis.

            Along highway 3 we hailed Columbia as we passed through, making a pit stop at MotoMart.  Then on to Waterloo without meeting ours, skirting around the location of Napoleon’s demise, on a new four lane bypass.  Twelve miles on we came to Redbud, where I have never seen any redbuds budding red.  The winter wheat was flourishing in the fields as was the yellow rocket in neglected places.  Corn which should have been “this high” is not yet planted nor the soybeans.  Too wet, “But it’ll turn out alright,” said a farmer at St. John’s, “Always does.”

St John’s is just south of Ruma, pop. 300 where hwy. 155 branches off to old Fort Kaskaskia, the road was closed informed the orange sign.  We travel down the hill out of Ruma and up another rise where on its ascent we spot the welcome cross topped steeple with the church soon emerging about a quarter mile off to the left along 1st road, between two fields.

At St John’s the acoustics are grand and the people huggingly friendly.  “Should I give the check to you or just give it to your wife?” asks the treasurer who knows.  “Give it to my wife, why bother with the middle man?”

After that service we are on south a few miles across the flooded to Kaskaskia river to St. Peter’s where the people are friendly and reserved and the acoustics making singing difficult.

Shortly after 11:00 we are retracing our route, while I eat my lunch arriving home about noon.  So, it is on a Sunday morning in the Lord’s vineyard, in his field, among his flock.  We’ll be back on June 2nd.

You Gotta Love a Sense of Humor

It occurred to me that as Proverbs 10:12 advises, “Hate starts quarrels, but love covers every wrong.”  That bit of wisdom is echoed in I Peter 4:8, when he advises that having been loved to death by Christ, “Above all, continue to love one another fervently, because love covers many sins.”  James ends his letter in the same way.

This love is a determination not to let our faults and foibles and sins become an obstacle in our relationship with God and with one another.  After all, Paul tells us in I Cor. 13, that when all is said and done, love alone will stand.

Now what I just wrote about in the above is not what I intended to write.  That’s the problem with writing, the writer often loses control and the whole kit and kaboodle goes off in its own direction.

What I intended to write was, that love may cover a multitude of sins, but a sense of humor covers a bunch of stuff too.   The only thing which comes to mind is the words of my German teacher at Concordia College. St. Paul.  Mr. Ehrhardt, liked to say when something happened in class, “Hans Vockle sweet petunia, ja, ja, ja.”  He said that when he asked Tom Schoenborn, one spring afternoon, to continue reading using a word that sounded like “Weider.” So, Tom got up and opened the window wider.  Mr. Ehrhardt used the phrase when Dave came into class late and said, “Besser Spate als nie.”  Better late than never.

You gotta love it.