“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:4 – 6)
An impression is given, beloved reader, that the gospels were written/circulated soon after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is, I was reminded, an inaccurate impression. The seeming immediacy of the events makes one believe the stories were set down just after they happened. The truth is decades past before anything was “set” to paper.
“Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.” (Verses 7)
Yet the writing of Revelation by John (not the John that Jesus knew) makes us think as if Jesus left not that long ago and is now coming back. That is how, I guess, strongly Jesus’ ministry was felt. The repercussions traveled down history.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Verse 8)
I am reminded of my declaration that I am longing for ordinary time. Time to think and contemplate. Maybe that is what the disciple turned to apostles wanted to and had to do. To think about the events, and get clear in their minds what happened. However, I wonder if that interval moved events around like a jigsaw puzzle so that we have four accounts that are sometimes and sometimes not mirrors of each other.
The “danger” I think is when we put things into perspective, we lose the finer details and end up with something less than actuality and accuracy. And yet, how do we know how a strong event like Jesus is going to effect our lives until we live out some of our life?
A thought – It sounds like, to me at least, I am already heading into that pondering and meditative mode.
Another thought – Two thousand years plus, beloved reader. Thinking back on an event so far in the past; and then trying to make it relevant to today.
Still another thought – If the gospel & epistle writers took some time to put together their writings, maybe they too were trying to make the story of Jesus relevant to their time. It is often asked, is Jesus relevant for our modern times? As we live out our faith lives, we make choices as to how Jesus’ example should and does effect our lives. The bible tells us how those who were in the moment have understood and contextualized the moments after the fact. It is my prayer, beloved reader, that you think about these things for your self as you journey on in your faith life. Shalom & Selah!