Those Nasty, Fiery Trumpets
Today's reflection has been written by Daniel D. Maurer.
This chapter is just flat out strange! It seems the end of the world is at hand. Except, it wasn't, and isn't . . . at least, yet.
I have been recently reading two books. Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli, English language author and also a New York Times Bestselling author.
Both books look at where humanity has come from, and (especially Homo Deus) where it is we are possibly going.
The books have been challenging for me to read. Not only because they propose some pretty tough topics, but also because the author speculates that wherever humanity will head to, it probably won't look ANYTHING like today.
I often wonder about the world my children, my grandchildren, or my 1000-year relatives will live in. I worry about global climate change and artificial intelligence. Our world is advancing and moving so quickly!
However, I realize, too, reading the Book of Revelation, that others were thinking about such things, as well. The conclusion I have come to is that I believe that it's important, as followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century, to stay informed. But it's also important to have faith—that, no matter what happens in the end, God is in control.
That's essentially the message of John in Revelation. And, for me, that's hopeful.
Narrative Lectionary Text
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets
Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.
The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.
The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise the night.
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in mid-heaven, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!’