Second week into my sabbatical and I am still dipping in and out of Beacon things that I need to around for and people I want to be with. Still I am carving out a couple of days for study & reflection. Writing on my forerunner book starts in earnest next week. Right now I am preparing for Thursday evening’s Forerunner school of ministry at the Beacon (no 5 out of 6). This is the raw material from which I will be writing.
This week we are looking at the book of Revelation. I have been a bit more anxious about this one, because people are coming on the course to learn and I am usually just one step ahead each time, enough to teach & help people orientate themselves through End Times Christian thinking. I am encouraged that I have moved forward quite a bit in understanding the themes and structure of this last book in the bible recently, the one that often daunts people. Some folk have said to me that they just don’t understand Revelation, or are afraid or put off by the imagery from delving into it more.
I have to say that, from being like that in the past, I am beginning to love this book. Two years ago I tried, on advice, to read Revelation through every week for about four months. That gave me a familiarity with the text and narrative. These last few weeks I have again read and re-read the book, examining the breakdown of the chapters, reading other commentaries, making sense of the imagery, gaining some confidence in understanding the sequence of events before and around Jesus’ return. I am balancing out this study with my regular bible readings and am looking forward to reading Revelation with the group this Thursday, as wisdom is best discerned in community.
Yet the one thing I keep finding is that my heart burns within! I find myself inwardly excited about these still-shadowy realities. I feel close to John the Divine as he watches and sees and experiences these overwhelming visions. I burn to know, not just the End Time timeline, but the God who is sovereign over it all. And I long to be a clearer voice concerning these things, even when they are not particularly popular in the UK church to chat about.
For any who are trying to get into this book, don’t hold back, but pray your way into a deeper encounter with the Jesus of Revelation and understanding His ways. I am certainly finding it fun and awesome too!