This post follows on from two previous posts on the book of Revelation. In the previous posts I argued that the vision of Revelation 4-22 is telling a single, coherent story, and then explained how the first 3 chapters of the book connect to what follows. That structure indicates that it is important to be clear of the messages given in Revelation 2-3 if we are to hear Revelation 4-22 correctly. This post attempts to draw out those messages to the 7 churches, so we can tune in correctly to the visions that follow.
The other day, I wrote about my reading through the book of Revelation, as I seek to work out the kind of book and how it communicates. This post follows on from that, and looks at how Revelation 1-3 connects with Revelation 4-22. Where do the letters fit in? What is the structure of the book as a whole?
I've been reading through the book of Revelation, asking myself what kind of book it is, and how we are meant to read it to hear its message. I've found myself wondering if I've been asking the wrong questions. I used to see the most important step in interpreting Revelation to be finding the key to map it onto the real world. I now wonder if the most important step is to enter into and follow the story. Stories have power to teach without needing to be an exact allegory.
Zedekiah, king of Judah (597-587 B.C.) consistently expected that God would bring a last minute reprieve, and he and his people would not be conquered by the Babylonians. He underestimated the sin of his people, and he underestimated God's power to deal with that.
For this reason, the prophet Jeremiah consistently has to warn him that there will be no reprieve. Into exile they will go.
The General Synod of the Church of England meets from today (13th November 2023) until Wednesday 15th. The November session doesn't happen every year (often General Synod only meets in February and July), and has partly been scheduled this year to give space to debate the next stages of Living in Love and Faith, and Prayers in Love and Faith.