Why read Revelation?

May 7th, 2019

Air. You breathe it in every day and if you don’t have access to it for more than a minute or so, you will die.

Water. Two-thirds of your body is made up of it and it’s essential for daily life. Most major cities in the world are built where they are because of access to water.

There are a lot of things in our lives that are not only important to us, but which are profoundly essential. They are things we cannot do without yet we are so familiar with them that we no longer see the power that they possess. They are normal and we don’t think about normal things too often.

Indeed, it is essential for us to be reminded of the importance of familiar things, to have them made unfamiliar so that we can take a step back and think about what they truly mean to us and how they impact our lives.

Revelation is a book perfectly designed to make us look at the familiar things in our faith from unusual and occasionally uncomfortable angles. Throughout the book we are reminded of the surreal nature of our faith and the way that aspects of our faith story are far more mind-bending and world-altering than we give them credit for.

Revelation is a book filled with symbolism and strangeness that tells us the story of our faith on a cosmic scale. We are shown heaven. We are shown the throne room of God. We are shown Jesus returning to bring justice to the earth. We talk about some of those things, we even have clichés and rote phrases based on these ideas, but Revelation forces us to look at them straight-on and acknowledge that they are definitively not normal.

Through this discomfort and disorientation, Revelation reminds us that we believe in something much bigger and more destructive of the status quo than we typically realize. Revelation helps us to see the familiar in unfamiliar ways and stand in awe of a God who is far beyond our understanding.

This post was also published at Christian Living in the Mature Years.

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