Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sun. Apr. 25, 2010 (John Klassen)

John Klassen (Professor Emeritus at Trinity Western and member of the Langley Mennonite Fellowship) spoke on the lectionary text from Rev. 7.9-17, "Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb." Psalm 100 tells of the whole earth embracing God, while the day's gospel reading (John 10.22-44) reports the considerable hostility Jesus experienced shortly before his assassination. By contrast, the author of Revelations returns to the theme of God (and now the Lamb) being victorious. St John's generation had experienced several volcanoes and earthquakes, a disastrous civil war, knew of the utter destruction of the temple, and may even have been directly affected by the subsequent disbursement of Jewish believers. All of this was disheartening, and not unlike what some of our older Mennonites have seen in their time. Although Rome never had a general persecution of Christians (contrary to what many non-historians like to think), there were occasional local persecutions of various ethnicities and persuasions. So St John was writing to the Christians of his day, essentially saying that, from time to time, you will seem to be powerless, but, the Lamb that was slain (offering a non-violent response to his troubles) is now victorious--as you will also be eventually. Although chapter 6 assumes the Lamb will bring destruction, chapter 7 offers the opposite stance, saying that an unlimited number of peoples drawn from across the entire world will be robed in white, victory palms in hand. For they too "came out of the great ordeal" and kept the faith by standing up to their particular 'Rome' (the world of political, economic, social, and military power). They were victorious not because they organized into armies but because they kept the faith, accepting the Lamb and his ways. [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, Apr. 25th, 2010 using your browser's preferred media player.



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