This is the last of 7 daily posts about the songs on my first solo EP, Story Unfolding. It will be for sale on Bandcamp starting January 27, 2013. Before the official release, you can listen to samples on Reverb Nation.
When I was a kid, reading the book of Revelation was akin to reading Stephen King. Dragons, swords, fire, pestilence, death, destruction. My grandpa used to tell us that he had figured out who the beasts were, and that the antichrist was coming soon. Creepy, especially when I was 10 or 11. Then there's a line in Ghostbusters where Winston (incorrectly) quotes Revelation to explain why all the ghouls are showing up, and that stuck in my brain for a good long while. It's fair to say that my understanding of Revelation was, well, messed up. I wonder how many of us would be willing to admit the same.
These days, I can't read the last couple of passages in that last book of the Bible without getting choked up. Seriously. The picture John paints of God returning, reclaiming, recreating the world is so beautiful that my heart swells. It is a picture of hope...
We all have experienced tragedy and heartbreak. I have wept at funerals where the person celebrated left too soon. I have stood and stared in horror at the television in the wake of disaster. I have held my wife and cried over a child never born. I know many people who have had the same experiences...
"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
We all have yearned for renewal. Our culture of advertising is constantly telling us, "Here is the thing you need to make you new! Youthful! Stronger! Smarter! More beautiful! Happy!" We spend gobs of money on the promise of something better, as if our souls know that renewal is there, and we're desperately trying to find it...
"I am making everything new!"
We all have been through dark days of the soul, where it feels like no light can be found and there is nothing good around us. I have doubted and mistrusted friends. I have spent days and sometimes weeks wondering if my faith is in vain. I have looked away from the ugliness of mankind in light of child prostitution, slavery, injustice. I have felt the oppression of the darkness...
"I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."
So often, people see passages like the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25) or the slaves waiting for their master's return (Luke 12) as a warning. What's the phrase? "Get right or get left"?
I see these passages as a promise: He is coming. He will bring provision for the meek, comfort for the weary, rest for those who wrestle, rescue for the prisoner, answers for the seeker, water for the thirsty, mercy for the broken. It is the fulfillment of the hope we hold.
May our hope lead to joy, and may it keep us going until we see Him face to face.
"Behold, I am coming soon!"