I have written before about how local churches need to engage with Revelation. To some, this might be an insurmountable task.
The character of Revelation makes an auditory involvement necessary. In country terms; We need to HEAR Revelation.
Those in the company of preachers must learn to call the church to its eschatological dwelling place. In the enterprise of the earthly church taking Revelation back, local pastors serve both as truck drivers and road crew. We direct the energy as well as take care of the movement so that the laity can travel alongside. Intentionally preaching eschatologically means a deliberate admonition of the end that comes across as assured as the deliberate notions of beginning. Our role is to theologically play the childhood game of “connect the dots”. We are story-tellers, not date-setters.
As pastors we must tell people about the other world, living in the the subversive act of preached hope. Instead of romantic historical meanderings that lament morals gone amuck, we focus on preached time. Preached time creates the path to New Jerusalem. This alternate narrative answers the question of who really is in charge.
Whenever I teach Revelation to a new group of people, I start with a question. It goes something like this; "I am going to let you make a decision as to how we will read this book and how I will teach it to you. We can either let Revelation be a book that only pertains to a distinct group of people at only one time in the history of the world or we can read it as though it has informed the church for 2000 years and will continue to speak to us."
I have never had a group take option A. Even if they are hardcore Left Behinders, the second choice just sounds better. If teaching Revelation freaks you out, let the congregation make the first choice. Present to them a basic reading strategy. It will allow you to stay away from so many testy issues.
Revelation doesn't work in a passive setting. We have to be intentional and deliberate with it, but shouldn't we with all scripture?
Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, world without end.
This is a repost from a blog I ran for a few years postmoderneschatology.com. I have decided to merge that content in with this blog and will occasionally post from its archives.