sermon for 5/2/10 “beginning and the end” revelation 21:1-6

The text of the sermon delivered by Rev. Kirk Moore at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, IL on Sunday, May 2, 2010

“Beginning and the End”  podcast

This morning’s Bible reading is from Revelation 21:1-6

Revelation! (dun dun dun!)

The books and videos (I just can’t bring myself to call them films – it would show a level of artistic and theological respect from me that really isn’t there) that attempt to interpret the book of Revelation as a horror story for anyone who isn’t in the Jesus club get it wrong. The books may offer compelling fiction and the movies are  . . . just poorly acted religious schlock, but they get it wrong.

Revelation isn’t a horror story. It is one filled with anger directed at oppressors and comeuppance coming to those who would oppress and exploit the weak. (How does that look when experienced through the two rules of love God and love everyone?) Yet in this morning’s Bible reading, it’s a story that is filled with hope.

  • New heaven and new earth
  • No scary sea
  • God with us
  • Tears wiped away
  • No more death, mourning, crying, or pain
  • All things new
  • Trustworthy and true words
  • God was and is and will be – the beginning and the end.
  • Refreshing, free, life-giving water

Revelation is coded and creepy and angry and really strange. But ultimately its purpose is to provide hope for people who thought things were hopeless.

Do you remember how we read everything in the Bible through these lenses?

Love God, Love Everyone
God creates, we mess up, God redeems, we mess up . . .

It is tough to read anything in the Bible that tells of folks getting their comeuppance (I’ve said that twice – it must be the word of the day!) or other dastardly things happening to those who would be enemies of God. Its there and it bothers me and I can’t just throw it out. I keep asking, “How have people messed up and how is God redeeming?” in this part? And sometimes I come up empty. In Revelation I often come up empty. But here, in today’s reading, God’s hope and restoration ring loud and clear.

Listen to those highlights again:

  • New heaven and new earth
  • No scary sea
  • God with us
  • Tears wiped away
  • No more death, mourning, crying, or pain
  • All things new
  • Trustworthy and true words
  • God was and is and will be – the beginning and the end.
  • Refreshing, free, life-giving water

And we get to share the hope and restoration with everyone.

Let me share with you some ideas of God’s love, hope, and restoration – as expressed by this year’s confirmation class – they wrote these expressions of what God – Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit – are like:

  • Very real
  • Made all people equal
  • Love
  • Makes life possible
  • Changes the way of life
  • The perfect role model
  • Has much love for humanity
  • Cleans our souls
  • Helps us follow Jesus’ footsteps in doing good
  • Helps us when we don’t even know it
  • Never hates us
  • Will always be in our hearts
  • Redeems us when we mess up
  • Guides us
  • Surrounds us
  • Inspires us to do good
  • Loves us through anything we do

How would you like to share that kind of love, hope, and restoration with everyone?

May we all share the love, hope, and restoration we have in God – who makes all things new, who is trustworthy and true, who was and is and will be – enough. Alpha and Omega – Beginning and the End.

Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s