We are launching into a new series for May and June where we will study the first three chapters of the book of Revelation and Jesus' letters to the seven churches. "Dear Church" will bring us first, face-to-face with the real Jesus. Displayed in all his glory and holiness, then face-to-face with ourselves as we discuss the situations in each of the churches and the increasing progression of fewer and fewer faithful people in environments where Jesus is not cherished above all things.
Revelation is often view with timidity; how can we understand all of the imagery and Old Testament reference? Or we see it through the lens of those obsessed with the end times and each word becomes something mystical to uncover and match to our day. But there is a beauty in the poetic apocalyptic prose and clear exhortations for all Christians to live a life of repentance in light of who Jesus is and what he has done.
We will do our best not to get lost down rabbit trails but chew the meat of cautions to the church and the glory of Jesus along the way. And through the whole series the declaration over those that read this vision of John's will be our compass of hope: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3 ESV)
May the Lord bless us as we read and hear this word and may he empower us to keep it as the time is near.