Confession time. Up until my last year of seminary when I finally took the intro course to New Testament (I like to do things a little out of order!) I had not read all of the Bible. Why? Because I had skipped heavily sections of Revelation. I'd read the beginning and the end, but the middle with all that apocalyptic imagery was not for me.
And then my friend Teri and I read the book together, out loud, with sound effects. That was the beginning of something for me. I've come, over the last two years, to really enjoy this book. Yes, some of the imagery is not my general cup of tea (beasts and whores of babylon and all that), but I have been able to read in and through that imagery to see God's glory shining. This book is full of beautiful confessions of faith, statements about who God is, visions of what the kingdom of God come will be like... And while I'm not inclined to like the battle imagery, it is true, for the kingdom of God to come here on earth will take a lot of sweat, tears, and perhaps even blood. We've seen it all ready - in those small moments where the kingdom breaks through. And in Revelation you have this wonderful promise that yes there will be battles (figurative or literal) and it will see like it lasts forever, but God and God's kingdom will win out. What a lovely, lovely narrative to live into.