Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sun. May 6, 2012 (Hannah Dutko)

Death, noted Hannah Dutko in speaking on Revelation 12:11, is not reflected on much in our society.  John, the writer of Revelation asks us to consider death at every step of our lives. This letter to the ancient churches who are under persecution and facing death of the body or of the spirit in being led astray by popular beliefs of the empire, were addressed in three ways by John.  Though nothing new (Revelation quotes the Old Testament more often than any other book of the bible)  the visions in Revelation confirm what we already have been told in countless other ways - to hold fast to our discipleship and be faithful in the midst of injustice and falsehood. The imagery in this book supports these thoughts - Jesus the slain lamb, the woman in birth representing Israel, and the dragon representing the militaristic evil empire that lives without evnd even until today. Hannah noted the text encourages us to face these challenges in three ways.  Firstly, as Christ laid his life down in order to overcome, so too will we overcome if we give our lives for Christ.  Secondly, we overcome by testifying how God acts for us out of love.  Hannah noted in her profession that active listening can only take troubled people so far - at some point it is necessary to use the gospel to envision a better future for all, and to commit to it.  Last, we overcome by dying to our desires and being reborn into the desires God has for us.  In a society where we face death so seldom that we have come to believe that evil does not exist, God asks us to die to self-centredness, to desire, to satieity, in order to live to fulfill God’s vision.  The spirit will shape us into whole, god-loving people, if only we will let it.   [AP]

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