Things are not always as they seem. The world looks a certain way. We see ourselves in a certain light. Jesus is often viewed as the meek, mild, and inoffensive preacher of non-judgmental love. But things fall apart, and sometimes we see things as they really are. A veil can be lifted, curtains can be drawn open, or even a roof may be torn off. That is what the Book of Revelation is: a chance to see things as they truly are.

Sermon by Steve Swan from the 28th of August, 2016
_____________________________________________________

 

For now treat the Scripture of God as the face of God. Melt in its presence.

St Augustine (354-430 A.D.)

 

 

Revelation? Oh, that’s good. Like most Christians, I avoid it.

Brian Kelly (1940-???)

 

 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

 

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand….

W.B. Yeats (1865-1939), The Second Coming

 

 

Things fall apart, especially all the neat order of rules and laws. The way we look at the world is the way we really are. See it from a fair garden and everything looks cheerful. Climb to a higher plateau and you’ll see plunder and murder. Truth and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. I stopped trying to figure everything out a long time ago.

Bob Dylan (Jack Fate), Masked and Anonymous

 

 

The symbols seen by John in the vision reveal not what Jesus looks like but what he is like – his identity as the searcher of hearts, full of consuming holiness and boundless wisdom, the perfect priest standing for his people before the Father, the perfect king defending them against the devil by his invincible Word. Revelation’s visions show us how things are, not how they look to the physical eye.

Denis Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb