14 Aug Sermon Snap Shot August 13, 2017
Ultimately the Book of Revelation is a book of hope. A message written to first century Christians under persecution that remains timeless today: Stay strong. Stay true. Keep the faith. And while the world may look like it’s going to hell, God will prevail. God’s kingdom will one day be established on earth…as it is in heaven.
So if all of this is true, and the Book of Revelation is really just encouraging us to remain hopeful, what else, if anything, are we to do…or not do?
First, we should “keep awake.” Near the end of Jesus’ death he says these words about the time when God will bring things to an end:
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13:32-33
“Keeping awake” doesn’t mean that we go out and buy this book or watch this movie that’s attempting to decipher what’s to come. But it does involve asking yourself each day: Am I right with God? Am I right with my loved ones? Am I right with my neighbor? Am I making the world a better place through my words or actions…or am I part of the problem?
Second, we must resist the temptation to wall ourselves off from others. History is filled with “apocalyptic” groups that have done this because they knew the exact day and time that the world would end. No, Jesus tells us to go, to engage, to feed and to love, led by a spirit of faith and not a spirit of fear.
And third, we must seek to live this hopeful reality NOW. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to the coming reign of God as the “Beloved Community” – a community in which all God’s people live in unity and love in a Garden of Eden-like existence once more. It’s a community that mirrors what we believe heaven will look like one day – with people of all different colors, nationalities, political persuasions and economic statuses living in harmony, forever.
Given the events in Charlottesville over the weekend and the political discord in our world today, this notion of Beloved Community should lead us to ask ourselves certain questions:
When was the last time that I broke bread with someone of a different race?
When was the last time that I had someone into my home who is a different nationality?
When was the last time I left my comfortable space and entered into the space of someone who is different from me…by going to their home or their place of worship?
If I don’t have any friends who are “different” from me, why not?
From Sunday, August 13 message based on Revelation 22:1-9 entitled, “I Love to Tell THE Story: Garden of Eden Restored”
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC