Showing posts from April, 2016

Sermon on Revelation 7:9-17, for the 4th Sunday of Easter, "The Lamb will be their Shepherd"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. In the past two sermons, we’ve introduced the book of Revelation and how the Risen Lord Jesus stands at the center of the book, and of all history, for that matter—and saints and angels in heaven surround the throne of God and of the Lamb, in holy praise and worship. Today, we again see a vision at the throne of God in heaven. In the bigger picture of the book, this scene is sort of an “intermission” or “interlude”, during a series of seven unfolding visions. A series of “seven seals” are opened one by one, with different judgments on earth unfolding at each seal. Our reading takes place during an “interlude” between the 6 th and 7 th seals. Similar interludes show up later in Revelation, between the 6 th and 7 th stages of later visions. So this is part of a larger pattern found in the book. It’s also a very bright scene that is surrounded before and after by dreadful scenes of judgment upon the earth—so

Sermon on Revelation 5:1-14, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, "Worthy is the Lamb"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Last week we met the Risen Lord Jesus, portrayed in Revelation 1. He’s introduced, and takes front and center position as the revealer of this vision and mystery, and as the central character. His resurrection victory promises His victory to extend to all believers. In Revelation chapters 4-5, we see one of the most exalted worship scenes in all the Bible unfolding. The scene takes place at the throne of God in heaven, surrounded by four angelic, living creatures, and 24 elders, or honored saints, who worship and praise God. God, exalted in all His glory, and surrounded by worship, holds in His right hand, a special scroll, sealed with seven seals. This scroll contains a message that is vital for the church on earth to learn—but no one is found anywhere in heaven or on earth, or under the earth, who is worthy to open it, and access its message. No one, until one of the elders announ

Sermon on Revelation 1:4-20, for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, "Risen Jesus Reigns from the Throne"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Despite signs that you might see, while driving to and around Lahaina, that say, “We are NOT in the end times,” Jesus told us that “ no one knows the day or the hour ”, and to always be ready for His return. The book of Revelation was written for times just such as ours—times just like the first century of Christianity, the times after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. In the decades after Jesus’ resurrection, while the apostles of our Lord Jesus were busy witnessing to all the world about Him—they encountered resistance. Resistance to the Good News, resistance to hearing that Jesus Christ had conquered the grave. This resistance often became hostile persecution. Sometimes imprisonment, sometimes loss of livelihood, sometimes loss of life. St. John the apostle, who writes the book of Revelation, writes it while he, probably in his old age, was exiled to the island of Patmos, fo