Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Quotables: Reversed Thunder

    November 3, 2011 by Brandy Vencel
    Reversed Thunder:
    The Revelation of John
    and the Praying Imagination
    by Eugene Peterson

    The scriptures are not a textbook on God; they are access to the living word of God that speaks a new world into being in us. {p. 24}

    Jesus Christ is both the content of the revelation and the agent of the revelation…[…]…The Revelation is nothing if not focused on Jesus Christ. {p. 26-27}

    [I]t is his will to identify himself in revelation in the community of faith. It is understandable that there are many who resent having to deal with the church, when they are only interested in Christ. The church is so full of ambiguity, so marred with cruelty and cowardice, so tarnished with hypocrisies and sophistries, that they are disgusted with it. The whole business of religion is so susceptible to superstition and fraud that it is no wonder that many refuse to be associated with it and seek Christ in other ways or in other places–in gnostic systems, for instance, or in mystical flights. But there is no biblical evidence that such seeking will prosper. Christ is known {by faith} to be preexistent with the Father. he is believed to be glorious in the heavens. But he is received in the everyday environs of the church in the company of persons who gather to worship and witness. {p. 33}

    The vision of Christ begins with a description of his clothing: “a long robe with a golden girdle round his breast.” Before we know what the Son of Many looks like, we know what he does.  Clothing defines his role: he vests with the garment {podērē} prescribed for Aaron in his priestly work {Exod. 29:5}. The Son of Man is a priest. {p. 33}

    So far the vision has elaborated aspects of his being; now it tells his function: “in his right hand he held seven stars.” The “seven stars” would be the planets, the unfixed stars, of which seven were known in the first century. The movements of these planets among the constellations and in relation to sun and moon was the fundamental stuff of astrology. The influence of astrology permeated all popular religion in the ancient world. The shifting locations of the planets in the twelve constellations of the zodiac were believed to determine destiny. Both public and private affairs were controlled by the seven planets….

    And Christ holds the seven stars in his right hand! “Right hand” means ready for use. A soldier with a sword in his right hand is ready to fight; a shepherd with a staff in the right hand is at work…What is in my right hand is what I am capable of doing and what, in fact, I am ready to do. What does Christ do? He runs the cosmos. It is that simple. The planets do not control us; Christ controls the planets. Later in the vision {Rev. 1:20}, the stars will be identified as “the angels of the seven churches.” What pagans thought were gods and goddesses  impersonal, remote, and controlling, are ministering angels, God’s messengers bringing his word and glory into the midst of the Christians as they worship and sing and pray. {p. 36-37}

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit

    No Comments

    Leave a Reply