Picked up from Facebook …
Preach Apocalyptic Texts, Now
“By proclaiming these apocalyptic truths from our pulpits, we can help people endure through faith.”
(helpful Facebook commenter below: “Apocalypse means “revealed,” not “end times.””)
“The collective pressure of culture via social media and increased tribalism has driven many to embrace stories that are fundamentally incompatible with a biblical worldview. In a similar situation, the apostle John shared his vision in Revelation to the early church as it struggled for life in the Roman Empire. The early church was a minority group facing immense pressure to step in line on issues like emperor worship, idolatrous trade guilds, and the Greco-Roman sexual ethic.”
I wonder if Jesus meant that the church should suffer a persecution-complex even where no persecution exists. The church becoming “irrelevant” does not mean the church is being persecuted on all sides. Apocalyptic Texts. Revealing Texts. Subject matter for those qualified in God to explain to those not. A tricky sensitive
“Since then, I’ve learned a few things about preaching apocalyptic passages well. First, you need to navigate the weirdness factor. There’s no getting around it—apocalyptic imagery is strange. Part of that is a function of our distance from the ancient world. But these images weren’t exactly common in the Ancient Near East, either.”
I wonder if Jesus meant that we had to forensically take apart each uttered/printed word in order NOT to see so darkly. Had to go back to the original text. Learn a foreign language in order to translate it
correctly properly back into one we can speak already. All to figure out how to convince “my congregation” I am right.
The strapline of this article caught my attention: “It’s time to make this tricky biblical genre a mainstay in your sermon rotation.”
I wonder if Jesus meant us to have a reading plan where we could announce we have read the whole bible in a year. Perhaps several times. All of it. Even the grinding boring bits. Even the incomprehensible apocalyptic bits. I wonder if he meant us to make all of this such hard work.
Because The Greatest of These seems to be a less complicated “genre”. Requires less “revealing” through study and endeavour. I wonder more and more if Jesus meant that we should digest the indigestible in order to come back to the simple and obvious: The Greatest Of These.
And I really wonder why – at the end of the article – the writer is so pleased to state:
“As we concluded our discussion, one person offered this takeaway: “God isn’t absent in all of this.””
I wonder if Jesus really meant us to become so absorbed with the whole that we lose sight of Love without condition right under our noses … in those around us … in the air I breath … in the food I eat … in the words I speak and hear … in the moment by moment eternity I have at no cost every day of every week:
Love right now and right here.
If I allow.