Tag Archives: Revelation

Jesus Christ: faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth

Revelation 1.4b–8

Reading the Bible with the eyes of the poor is a different thing from reading it with the eyes of the man with a full belly. If it is read in the light of the experiences and hopes of the oppressed, the Bible’s revolutionary themes—promise, exodus, resurrection and Spirit—come alive. — Jürgen Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit, Kindle ed’n, loc.394.


It was a Sunday. John was on the island of Patmos. Patmos is a Greek island, but John wasn’t there on holiday. He had been exiled to Patmos, confined there, imprisoned there. I doubt they had a cocktail hour or any all-you-can-eat buffets on Patmos.

It was a Sunday, the ‘Lord’s Day’, and John was ‘in the Spirit’. His eyes were opened to a vision in which he  Continue reading

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What does a Christian apocalypse reveal? (Advent 1A, 1 December 2013)

Isaiah 2.1–5
Matthew 24.36–44


We’re starting a new Church Year today, Year A in our three-year cycle. In Year A, most of the Gospel Readings come from the Gospel According to Matthew. As usual, on the first Sunday of a new year we start not at the beginning of the story but at the end.

We heard a snippet from towards the end of Matthew 24 today. Commentators sometimes call this chapter the ‘little apocalypse’ (along with the parallel passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21).

If this is a little apocalypse, is there a ‘big’ apocalypse? Well yes, there is; it’s the Book of Revelation. The word ‘apocalypse’ means ‘revelation’.

These aren’t the only apocalyptic writings in existence. We have the Book of Daniel; but two thousand years ago, there were many other apocalyptic books around the place. Apocalyptic was a type of literature, like science fiction, fantasy or historical fiction.

What is apocalyptic writing about. I’ve said that ‘apocalypse’ means ‘revelation’— but what comes into your mind when you hear those words?

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Sixth Sunday of Easter (Easter 6)

Being prepared for the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21.10, 22 to 22.5

The Go-Betweens were a great Brisbane band, and their name will grace the Go Between Bridge over the Brisbane River when it’s opened this year. And ‘Streets of Your Town’ is their song about Brisbane. I love the catchy chorus:

Round and round, up and down
Through the streets of your town
Everyday I make my way
Through the streets of your town.

Have you ever caught the other lyrics though?

Don’t the sun look good today?
But the rain is on its way
Watch the butcher shine his knives
And this town is full of battered wives.

So it’s perhaps with a sense of relief that we’re taken straight back to the chorus with its great hook:

Round and round, up and down
Through the streets of your town
Everyday I make my way
Through the streets of your town
Everyday I play it my way
Through the streets of your town.

Where is ‘your town’? Where do you live? As Brisbanites, we’re justifiably pleased with the climate and its live-ability. But what about its underside? The battered wives the Go-Betweens speak of? What about the homeless kids? The alcoholics and the drug addicted? The mentally ill? The disabled?

Where is our town? What is our town? Is it a sun-drenched—sometimes rain-drenched—sub-tropical paradise? Or is it a place with a hidden story, a story of pain and tears?

Or is it both at the same time?

Sometimes, we live in sunny Brisbane and sometimes we live in a sad Brisbane. I think Brisbanites tend to look more at the sunny side of life here. But then we run the risk of not seeing the people in need that Jesus brings across our paths.

Where do you live? Where did the people of the New Testament live?

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