October 26

Revelation 7:9-17

“After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.” vs. 9

There is within the human heart a deep love for apocalyptic imagery, something we see regularly in the unending series of blockbuster movies with science fiction and end of the world themes. Audiences seem to be enthralled by the rapid-fire action, imaginative creatures, and computer generated catastrophes. There are heroes, antiheroes, demigods, and monsters, and we love the action and the message. These movies are for us what the book of Revelation was for early Christians. It was a picture of the close of the age, and the images were scary. Beasts, dragons, and martyrs were identifiable to those in the know, and everyone rejoiced at the triumph of the Lamb. As is the case in most of our movies, evil was vanquished and there was a spectacular happy ending, a gazillion white-robed saints gathered before the throne of God. The visions of Revelation continue to capture our fancy, not as a predictor of current events, but as core ingredients of our worship. We’ve learned to sing the songs of the saints as we gather for communion, and we love the consistent message of hope. Even though our endings will always be cloaked in mystery, Revelation tells us there will be perfect peace–and unity with Christ!

Thought for the Day: Why do people love apocalyptic movies?

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