An Easter Season Worship Series: Revealing Revelation

For the last three Easter Seasons at FUMC of Arlington, we've studied the Book of Acts, focusing on the building of that first Christian community after the resurrection, leading to Pentecost.  The Book of Acts is an important book  for the church to study, as it chronicles the early problems, oppression, and successes of the early church and the apostles.

However, this year, Year C in the Revised Common Lectionary, the epistle reading was ... well ... too good to pass up.  In six weeks, which is rather quick, it takes us through the Book of Revelation.

Now, I know that many of the United Methodist variety might take to the famous perspective of Martin Luther ...

"I can discover no trace that it is established by the Holy Spirit."

Or, still others might pour over the details of the book, looking for prophecies of the end, trying and trying to apply the details to the world of today.

It's a provocative book.  It's imagery and literary content transcend the Christian faith.  So, we should talk about it.

At FUMCA, from April 3 until the Sunday before Pentecost, we will be.  Here's a breakdown of the series, for your use and perusal.  As always, post in the comments if you're taking this on!


Easter Season Worship Series:

Revealing Revelation

The Book of Revelation has been controversial since its inception.  Its vivid imagery, depictions of violence and empire, and cryptic allusions to the return of Christ have made it a book that is easy to misuse and misinterpret.

But, what if we took Revelation and refused to get caught up in picking apart its symbols … Trumpets … Dragons … Numbers … And read it as a letter to people, to churches, in trouble and losing their faith.  What if we took this book and realized it was from a servant of Christ to fellow servants of Christ that said this:

This is hard right now.

And it might get harder.

But hold on to Christ - 

God is with us.

This Easter Season we’ll take on the mysteries of the Book of Revelation, and wonder together of the life God calls us to as people of God in the world that longs for the Kingdom of God to break through.

April 3 - Revealing Revelation

Revelation 1:4-8

So ... Christ is coming again?

April 10 - Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5:11-14

What did Christ give himself for?

April 17 - Bigger than U


Revelation 7:9-17

Do we, humans, prefer a limited offer of salvation?

April 24 - City of God

Revelation 21:1-6

Does God want to replace?  Or redeem?

May 1 - No More Night

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

What if it's really all about holding fast to Christ in the most difficult times?

May 8 - Benediction

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

Can we stay thirsty for Christ's living water?

The Strange Feeling of Wrapping Things Up

I've had a pretty eerie feeling most of this last week.  In a short time, I'll be jumping into a new ministry venture after 8 years as a professional worship minister.  God has been calling me to this new thing for a while now, and now that I've answered the call I am indeed excited.

But this feeling creeping up on me the last few days is the feeling of wrapping things up here.  And it is very strange, indeed.

I've been blessed at my last two churches to lead both traditional and contemporary styles on any given Sunday morning.  It's been a blast.  And as I come to the end of this leg of my ministry journey it's kind of odd to know what some of my "lasts" will be.

The last praise and worship song I'll sing (for the time being)?  It will be tomorrow morning - "White Flag" by Chris Tomlin, just before we have the whole congregation process with their palm branches.  It's an epic song that I LOVE to lead.  It's been a kind of theme song for the season of Lent with my faith family - a song of surrender.

But it gets better - the last anthem I'll conduct?  The same anthem that concludes many of our worship services on Easter Sunday - "Hallelujah" from Handel's Messiah.

Hallelujah.  That's the way to go.  I feel so blessed.

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ, we greet you!
Your hands still have holes in them,
your feet are wet from the dew;
and with the memory of our names
undimmed by three days of death
you meet us,
risen from the grave.

We fail to understand how;
we puzzle at the reason why.

But you have come:
not to answer our questions,
but to show us your face.