Reading the Bible Day 357
Hello and welcome to our penultimate blog post as we come towards the final chapters of Revelation. Today's reading is the battle between the Lamb and Satan with Satan's final defeat and exile. By ridding the world of all darkness God can then create the world God always intended without disruption. Think for a moment what forces of darkness exist in our world today - climate change, hunger, unequal medical access, pandemics, racism, anger, divisiveness, fear, inaction, exploitation, and so much more - all of these just....gone. While it is freeing, it also feels so far away from possible. That's how the people of John's day felt too, and he encouraged them to keep being believers in hope and God's prosperity. Today, we carry that torch whether it means Jesus comes tomorrow or not in our lifetime, we carry it with hope for our community and for the next generation. As we read about Jesus' defeat of Satan may we be filled with the same power to defeat forces of darkness today.
Just a reminder that tomorrow we are going to be meeting at Holbrook Hallows at 6pm. Please RSVP either in the comments or by shooting me a private email. It will be really helpful in getting set up! Thank you very much. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Why do you think God let Satan go after being bound for a thousand years?
What do you think it means to be judged by our deeds?
What about this reading stood out to you? Why?
- Commentary -
Theologically, the millennium deserves much greater prominence than it has had. At the center of the Christian faith, after all, is the confession that Jesus has risen from the dead. Resurrection transforms death into a new life in a renewed world. It is not an escape into a world beyond, therefore. In the Christian creeds we confess belief not in the immortality of the soul but the resurrection from the dead. Jesus promised the disciples the power to do exactly what the angel with the key to the abyss could do in Revelation 20. Although it is easy to let Satan loose to cause chaos, those who follow the way of the Messiah have the power to build foundations of a community against which the gates of hell can never prevail. It is that divine perspective that characterizes the millennium that now, amid all perplexities and confusion of existence under the domain of the beast we now find ourselves in that the Spirit of the Church summons the church to claim and live: "Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches." (Rev. 2:7)
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is from hymn 357 - Just as I Am, Without One Plea. This hymn would be perfect for tomorrow's reading as the angels invite Christ's followers to "Come" to the new Jerusalem. So, as you sing this hymn, I invite you to imagine what the Kingdom of God looks like and accept that invitation that God is calling you towards.
. Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
2. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
3. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
6. Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down; now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.