One day, long ago, an old man sat down and wrote a letter. With few remaining days on this earth, the elderly pastor’s letter was his final act of faithfulness to the gospel of Christ’s kingdom. Suffice it to say, he didn’t hold back. The epistle John left the world with the most imaginative and dramatic body of literature in our Bible. His words have brought hope, fear, clarity, confusion, mystery, and mischief. So, what are we to do with such a strange book? Author Eugene Peterson has some words of wisdom for us.
This Hallelujah Banquet (Waterbrook) focuses on John’s opening verses in the Book of Revelation. Seven churches are in various states of distress, and the apostle’s exhortation was intended to bring comfort and correction. It was a time of deception and injustice. Believers were losing hope, losing their courage, and losing their love of God. Some were even losing their lives.
This Hallelujah Banquet is a reminder that the strange writing we encounter in Revelation was never intended to obscure the truth, but to reveal it. It wasn’t written to the last generation of Christians, but the first. They knew exactly what John meant because he wrote it specifically to them. But there are lessons for us in these ancient words. Be courageous. Be faithful. Live in hope. Never lose your love of God. Be wise and discerning. John’s letter was not intended to be a manual on prophecy, but a call to live proleptically. As followers of Jesus, we live in the perpetual dawning of Christ’s kingdom. One day, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Christ is King. Revelation isn’t about the end of the world. It’s about a kingdom fully come, a just and redeemed world without end. Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.
Hallelujah and Amen.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster