Revelation Week 12

The “Amen” of John’s Revelation (Revelation 22:10–21)

In introducing this Lectio series on Revelation, I suggested that John wrote down the visions he received from the risen Jesus in the form of a pastoral letter. It was his choice to do so, and he did so to address his congregations not as prophet, the bringer of God’s word, but as priest, the giver of pastoral care. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 11

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1–22:9)

One of my favorite Bible passages is 2 Corinthians 1:19–20, where Paul writes that “In [Christ] it is always yes. All of God’s promises have their yes in him.” Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 10

The Apocalypse of God’s Salvation Come to Earth (Revelation 19:11–20:15)

Speaking as a fan of professional baseball, I think one of the great traditions of the game takes place when the home team’s best relief pitcher enters from the bullpen in the final inning to close down the visiting team and secure the victory. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 9

God’s Demolition Project (Revelation 15:5–19:10)

Revelation’s bad press, especially now, often discusses its vivid images of divine judgment. God seems ticked off all the time and the results are typically catastrophic for all people and every place. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 8

But God’s Victory Not Yet Realized on Earth (Revelation 12:18–15:4)

The origin of the word “thug” is from The Thugees, a large, well-organized assassin cult found in India from the 14th to 19th centuries. Its members, called “thugs” for short, infiltrated tourist caravans disguised as friendly co-travelers in order to put victims at ease before strangling them and stealing their goods. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 7

God’s Victory Already Realized in Heaven (Revelation 12:1–17)

Take a couple of deep breaths! We have traveled wide and far through this visionary world over the last couple weeks. The risen Jesus commanded John to write down the revelation that would disclose the past, present, and future history of God’s restoration of all creation. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 6

The Seventh Seal: A Trumpet Fanfare to the Victory of God (Revelation 8:2–11:19)

We bought our first home in Texas, where we first noticed blackened lawns. The practice of burning Bermuda grass in the spring is still carried on by those who notice that lush lawns result in the summer. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 5

The Great Tribulation of the Last Days (Revelation 6:1–8:1)

We need to return for a moment to John’s sighting of the scroll, which the Almighty One held in his right hand. This scene captures our attention because of the obvious importance of the secrets written down on God’s scroll: when no one is found worthy to break open the seals that strap the scroll shut, the entire creation, including the prophet, weeps and mourns for fear they will never know the Creator’s plan to restore creation. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 4

The Lamb Alone is Worthy to Open God’s Scroll (Revelation 5)

Revelation 5 reintroduces Jesus Christ as a lamb. By the estimation of most, a lamb is an odd way of speaking of God! I suspect we have far less difficulty placing God on heaven’s throne than we do worshiping a slaughtered lamb. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 3

Thanksgiving to our Triune God (Revelation 4:1–11)

The world traveler preparing to visit a strange country typically consults the notes of those who have journeyed there already and who know well the must-sees and the do-nots. In my case, I’m interested in dollars — so an experienced traveler’s notes of cheap places to see and lodge are crucial elements of my prep work for visiting a new city. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 2

Prophet John to the Sevenfold Church: Greetings! (Revelation 1:9–3:22)

When I was a young child my parents sent my two sisters and me every summer to Camp Wooten in the Blue Mountains of eastern Washington, no doubt to give themselves the vacation they so richly deserved! Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 1

Prologue to Scripture’s Conclusion (Revelation 1:1–8)

The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible and its most controversial. For almost two thousand years, Christians have found its bizarre snapshots of peculiar beasts in strange places both disturbing and captivating. Full reading and audio »