Now we’re getting to the good part…Over the last few weeks, we have waded knee deep into Revelation, and some of the territory we have covered was designed to give us the willies. As we sought to decode some of the nastier stuff in Revelation, I kept reminding you that all of Revelation was ultimately about hope. Hope in the face of the terrifying. Hope in the face of the distressing. Hope in the face of the brokenness of this world.
This week’s passage is about what that hope is directed toward. The last few chapters of Revelation are beautiful. They are poetic dreams of the best of all hopes. This is what we have been working toward all along. Again, a reminder that these are not necessarily eye witness accounts of what the kingdom of God looks like, but this is John dreaming of the very best realities that he can imagine and seeing these as the jumping off point for the beginning of a vision of what it would look like to walk through God’s city.
I think it begs the question of us—imagine the very best realities of this world and of your experience, and use that as a jumping off point for what the kingdom of God must be like. I would hazard a guess that the kingdom of God would look a little bit different for each of us, given that starting point. It reminds me of the movie What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams. Though some of the theology in that movie is questionable at best, it did paint a picture of the kingdom of God that offered a myriad of beautiful dreamscapes that can only begin to capture what it might be like to be a part of God’s kingdom.
One last thing to point out—and where we will spend most of our time on Sunday!—you will notice that in these passages of Revelation the message is that earth does not pass away, but heaven and earth become one and the same kingdom. Not only that, but earth and heaven are both made new again. This raises some interesting theological questions, and we will spend some time with those questions on Sunday!