Revealing Hope for Christmas

Last night, I began a series with my students on the book of Revelation. I have to admit, it was the most fun I’ve had in a while. From time to time, I ask my students what topics or passages they’d like to learn about, and Revelation is always on the list. So, this year, as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem, we’re going to spend a few weeks looking into what pastor John had to say to his flock in the first century after Jesus’ birth! This may seem like an odd choice… What does Christmas have to do with the last book of the Bible? Isn’t the famous Christmas story in Luke? What am I doing mixing Christmas and Revelation? Well… let’s just say this is not a Charlie Brown Christmas! Check out chapter 12, then go add a dragon to your nativity set…

I’m really excited to dig deeper into the book of Revelation for our Christmas series this year. We’re going to fly through the book in 3 weeks, then take a few weeks to begin 2015 looking more deeply at the 7 letters near the beginning of the book.

Avalanche Creek at Glacier National Park
Avalanche Creek at Glacier National Park

One of the things that made last night so fun was I felt like I was really engaging the students with something they need AND want. Most of the students had never actually read the whole book and many of those who had expressed that they got lost in all the imagery and didn’t really feel confident in their understanding. There is so much that we assume about the book that causes more confusion than it should. When we get into too much speculation, we are often not reading the book honestly and end up with a really murky picture of what John was communicating. I want to help our kids see what’s really there.

Revelation is not a book to scare us to sleep at night or frighten us into submission before it’s too late. It’s a letter full of hope for the people of God.

If you know a middle school or high school student here in the Scottsbluff area who has questions about the end of the world, the second coming, Revelation, tribulation, etc. I hope you’ll encourage them to come join us at WestWay on the next couple Wed. nights as we try to clear up a few things about the book. I’ll be challenging some of their assumptions about the book as I don’t believe Revelation should scare us. I know with certainty that wasn’t John’s intent as he shared graphic depictions of the awe inducing things he was shown. John wanted to give his flock hope through the words that he wrote. Through the visions He showed John, Jesus was offering comfort and encouragement in the midst of terrible affliction.

As a book full of hope, Revelation shouldn’t scare us. It should motivate us to worship an incomparable King by living as His emissaries to a world desperately in need of redemption.

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