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Revelation 1:1-8, Introduction

St. John of Patmos

St. John of Patmos

A Book of Hope

Today's reflection has been written by Daniel D. Maurer.

I had taken a course on the Book of Revelation when I was still in seminary (nearly 20 years ago – erk!). The main reason why I was interested in this book from the Bible was because it's so . . . weird

I like weird things. Especially things that you have to decipher to understand.

What I learned was that, once you understand the purpose of this book in the Bible, it becomes less weird. However, that doesn't make it less interesting or relevant though. And that's where the bonus comes in.

One point that I would like you to remember through this entire Narrative Lectionary series is this one key point . . .

**The Book of Revelation is a Book of Hope**

The context of the original recipients of the "letter" were being persecuted. When your parents, your brothers and sisters, your friends . . . everyone you know are being flayed alive or fed to wild animals for others' entertainment, well — you can use a message of hope! And that's precisely what The Revelation to John is all about: hope.

In these opening chapters, the author establishes who the audience he intends to send the letter to. Also, a theological interpretation who the "protagonist" will be in the strange chapters that follow, namely Jesus Christ through the power of God the Almighty.


Narrative Lectionary Text

Revelation 1:1-8

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near. 

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 for ever and ever. Amen. 
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.

 ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.