Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One simple truth

Obedience is boring when things are going well.

That's when I'm tempted by the enticement: think of all the things you're missing because you don't . . . .

I must admit: the allurement of sin makes me wonder about the forbidden. Why not spice up your life with a little indulgence?

The problem is: I fear God.

I'm afraid He will say, "So, let's get this straight. Life is so good, every once in a while you get bored. Want a little action? Want to shake things up a little? A little intensity? Want to go to a place where you long for the good ol' days, when good things were predictably boring?"

No. No. I take it back. I'm so grateful your goodness is so reliable I feel like I'm missing out on other things.

Honestly, I wouldn't make a very good rebel, anyways.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Christian War

I've been working through the Revelation of John, developing an idea that worship is an act of war in the Apocalypse. When we gather to worship God on the Lord's day, we are declaring war on the world. That's the sequence of the seven visions. Each vision begins with a festal gathering of worshippers around God's throne or in God's temple, then forces are marshalled against the powers of evil on earth. Heaven comes to earth when God is worshipped. And, with his presence, so comes the kingdom of God. It's a breath-taking vision--one that each of the seven churches desperately needed. The letter reveals the challenges/problems each church faced. And, I believe, each vision addresses how each church overcomes them.

Here's my thesis: Revelation is a behind the scenes peak at liturgy. So, each vision reveals what happens during the constitutive parts of worship (adoration, prayer, presenting the word, song, confession, commission). And, each part of worship is the answer to each problem the seven churches were facing. Ephesus needed to recover the adoration of God (vision #1), Smyrna needed to be reminded that prayer works (vision #2), and so on.

So, Revelation is a manual for recovering authentic worship of God and bringing justice to the earth.

A little different read than your "left behind" approach. What do you think?