Delivered at Ames UCC
on August 27, 2017
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
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heard rather than read.
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I am so tired of being jerked around. I am so tired of having my days and my nights hijacked by headlines. I am sick of the incivility in the public square and nauseous from the increasingly punitive nature of public policy. And I resent, I resent to my core, the energy I must expend to reclaim my time from those who would distract me from sharing and working for the good news that there is enough for all.
In other words, I get, to a small extent, where John of Patmos is coming from.
John of Patmos, was a Jewish follower of Jesus living as a refugee under the violent rule of the Roman Empire in 90 CE. John of Patmos was in shock from seeing his homeland of Jerusalem conquered—again—and the house of God on earth, the temple, destroyed—again. He was baffled by the willingness of others who claimed to follow Jesus to compromise with that Empire, to go along to get along. As he eventually writes, this is an empire that makes statues more important than people!
John of Patmos is also terrified that the world is coming to an end.
So, he takes all of that emotion—his rage, his sorrow, his questions—to God. Where are you, God? Why have you let this happen, God? What are we to do, God?
He takes it all to God in meditative prayer and this scripture that we now call Revelation is how he heard God answer.