God Can Make It Right — God Will Make It Right
Today's reflection has been written by Daniel D. Maurer.
The purpose of the "seals" in the Book of Revelation many scholars today determine to be as interpretations of actual historical events that were taking place during its writing.
The following table shows a summary of the different seals, who was allowed to open them and what symbols are used.
What's important to understand is that many, many different interpretations have come about from a multitude of theological views exactly what each of these seals stands for, either from an historical-critical standpoint, or also from those who believe that they have yet to happen. Rather than get into a full-blown argument over which one is right (hint: I have no idea), let me instead propose an overarching theme that we see throughout the Book of Revelation:
No Matter How Bad Things Get, God is in Control and Will Make It Right in the End
Essentially, to communities who were literally losing their lives to the Roman State, this was good news! "It looks like a mess, and indeed, it is; but God will fix it!" There is hope beyond hope. What hopes do you have that everything will eventually be made right? How does God's sense of justice work right here, today, too?
Narrative Lectionary Text
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; they cried out with a loud voice, ‘Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?’ They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow-servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree drops its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll rolling itself up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the magnates and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’