Many who read Revelation look at it as a terrifying fever dream of doom and gloom. Some interpret it as some sort of futuristic forecast of the end times, full of fire and brimstone. Some use it to deepen the us/them chasm where “we” are good, destined to walk the streets of gold and “they” are bad, condemned to an eternity in hell. All of this misses the radical message of hope in this book. Barbara Rossing, in her commentary on this passage writes, “Revelation’s message is not that the world is about to end, but that the world is about to turn.”
Could it be that the devastation, strife, and chaos that seem to be the hallmarks of these days are actually signs that the world is turning towards a new age of Jesus’ reign – one characterized by justice, equity, and peace? What if the focus of our faith was less on what happens after we die and more on living the values of God’s kingdom here and now?
Spend some time in quiet today, cataloging your reasons for hope that Jesus is doing something new in this world.