Believe it or not, we only have two more weeks in our 2020 Southwest Bible Project. This Bible-reading, video-watching schedule has been one my favorite things about this year. In a year that will be remembered by most for something called COVID, I will also remember it as a very special and revealing journey through the story of God.
Speaking of revealing, if you are keeping up with our project, you noticed that this last week, and this coming week, our reading is in the book of Revelation.
Revelation is proof positive of something I have been reminding you of all year; that the Bible is not a simple book.
When I open the book of Revelation, I feel a bit like young Lucy in C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" stumbling through the wardrobe and falling into Narnia. What is this place? What are these creatures? What does this all mean?
More mystery, and therefore, more controversy, centers around the interpretation of Revelation than any other book. Some list as many as nine major interpretative approaches, with very smart and sincere scholars falling in different camps, each with their own convincing cases. Still others conclude that we are so far removed from the original context, and so unfamiliar with the genre of literature (it is called apocalyptic literature), that we cannot even hope to grasp its original meaning.
What are we to do with this? What are we to do with Revelation? Well, there are two things that I am convicted that we should not do, but that are done by far too many Christians. We should not (1) ignore it (2) try to determine some cosmic timetable of things to come, literally forcing what is happening in our world to fit the imagery we find in John's visions. I have done the first more often that I'd like to admit, and that is often because I am responding to people who have done or are doing the second.
I recommend you read it. But only if you will read it humbly, and through the lenses that I hope by now have been permanently established in you through our 2020 Southwest Bible Project over this last year: LOVE, STORY, and WISDOM.
What might God reveal to you in Revelation? Let's see.