We had a great gathering last night for the conclusion of Revelation! What an experience it has been studying through the book with you all! A pastor friend of mine asked recently what I like so much about the book of Revelation; here’s what I said:
“I’m reading a great book for our study, The Most Revealing Book of the Bible by Vernard Eller. His book teases out the most beautiful theology, not without problematic sections. Eller’s argument is that Revelation teaches us more about the Christ we know from the gospels, and in that learning we should use the gospels as a guide and check for what we’re learning in revelation – they should be consistent. There are beautiful vignettes that punctuate the structure – between all of the layers of violence and suffering is a loving, awe inspiring God who brings a just love to creation in the end. And the theology along the way has deepened my devotional life, for instance, in chapter 4 there’s a description of the throne room of God with a glassy lake in front . . . the lake across the street from my house froze for most of January and I had some magical walks at dawn on this sacred space that is only available in the dead of winter. Connections like these between life and text bring the book to a whole new level for me.”
During our time in Revelation we came across the Holy Spirit and the Trinity several times in conversation. These topics are often not well covered in the life of the church and are thus nebulous and confusing. We decided a few weeks ago and confirmed last night that talking about the Trinity would be really useful, so that’s what we’re going to cover this coming Monday. I learned recently that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to the Irish – 3 leaves (3 persons of the trinity), 1 shamrock (1 God)! More on that on Monday!
The following Monday we talked about reading one of the shorter minor prophets, like Joel (3 ch), Obadiah (1 ch), Nahum (3 ch), Habakkuk (3 ch), Zephaniah (3 ch), Haggai (2 ch). These are the minor prophets with 3 or fewer chapters. With only one evening to explore it, 3 chapters is more than enough! Is there one of these you’ve always wanted to learn more in depth? Or always troubled you or made you curious? Or we can close our eyes and point to one! : ) We can finalize one on Monday for the following week.
Finally, our last gathering will be on Monday, April 10, the first Monday of finals week. We’ve done a range of things in the past from a fabulous dinner and appreciations to a traditional Scottish dance! It’s your night – I’m open to suggestions! We do have budget for special food, so keep that in mind. Let me know what you’d like to do!