• Revelation 1:4b-8 John 18:33-37 The Alpha and the Omega (Leininger)

    A hard life. In fact, some proposed a Day of Mourning to honor all those who had perished. But the others said no, a Day of Thanksgiving would be more appropriate. After all, even though half had died, half had NOT. Reason to give thanks to the God who had seen them through. Good for them.

  • Revelation 1:4-8 Thanks Be to God (Wagner)

    Richard Pickering, deputy director of Massachusetts' Plymouth Plantation, says that the real miracle of Thanksgiving was that the Pilgrims and Indians actually had some fun together. Amazingly, their gratitude came after a very harsh winter and a great loss of life. In the midst of great suffering and loss they acknowledged the presence of God.

  • Revelation 5:11-14 The Power of the Lamb (Hoffacker)

    This is the power of the Lamb. "The power of the Lamb! A love stronger than hatred. A reconciliation stronger than estrangement. A forgiveness stronger than sin. A joy stronger than sorrow. A peace stronger than violence. A hope stronger than despair. A life stronger than death. The power of the Lamb!" That power can be ours.

  • Revelation 7:2-4, 9-17 & Matthew 5:1-12, The Wedding Picture (Hoffacker)

    One feature of weddings here are the photographs. After the service is complete, and the man and woman are now husband and wife, and the congregation has filed out of the church, there comes a time when pictures are taken. The arrangement I like best is when all the relatives on both sides gather round the bride and groom.

  • Revelation 7.9-14, The Big Cheer (Hoffacker)

    All of us just shouted that Easter word, Alleluia. And maybe you've been in a stadium at a game where everybody shouted together, and it felt like the mightiest roar you've ever heard. But that is nothing compared to what John tells us about in "The Big Cheer."

  • Revelation 7.9-17, Sing the Song Yourself (Hoffacker)

    Have you ever heard an entire stadium burst into singing? It must be like that for John when this assembly roars out their song! It is impossible not to hear the sound, yet it is so loud that recognizing the words proves difficult. Still John makes out what they sing: "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

  • Revelation 7:9-17 Who Are These? (Stevenson)

    In the midst of John's dungeon, as he prayed, something happened--a miracle. God reached down and lifted John out of his Hell of Earth to give him a glimpse of Heaven. God hadn't taken John up to Heaven permanently. God just brought him to Heaven for a visit, so John could see what God was doing and could tell Christians what he had seen.

  • Revelation 7:9-12 A Great Crowd (Gerhardy)

    The vision of heaven kept Paul's troubles in perspective. His troubles were only passing events, but the joy of heaven was forever. With that in mind he could endure anything. How many times have I sat with those whose time on this earth has been limited, but they demonstrated amazing calmness? They knew where they were going.

  • Revelation 7:13-17 A Glimpse of Heaven (Gerhardy)

    What in the book of Revelation that impresses you most? Is it the enormous crowd? We read, "I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages...."(Revelation 7:9). Here before the throne of the Lamb we a see a mass of people, untouched by racism, sexism, nationalism, unionism or any other "ism."

  • Revelation 21:1-6 The God of New Beginnings (Leininger)

    Any New Year's resolutions this year? Lots of people make them. I'm gonna learn Spanish. Buenos Dias! That's about as far as I've gotten. Actually, Feliz Año Nuevo - that's Happy New Year. I read somewhere that the top five resolutions are to get personal finances in order, lose weight, stop smoking, become more physically fit, and improve personal relationships.

  • Revelation 21 The Right Side of Heaven (Donovan)

    A little girl looked at the stars and said, "Dad, If the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what will the right side be?" Needlework has a front side and a back side, or a right side and a wrong side. The front side has a beautiful design. The back side, especially if stitched by an inexperienced needleworker, may have no pattern or beauty to it.

  • Revelation 21:1-7 Imagining Heaven (Bowen)

    C.S. Lewis said, " If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.... Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at earth and you may not even get earth."

  • Revelation 21:1-7 Where There’s Vision There’s Hope (McLarty)

    King Solomon got it right when he said, "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…" (Proverbs 29:18). What I'd like for us to think about in the sermon this morning is the flip side of the coin: "Where there is vision, there's hope." No one knew this better than John.

  • Revelation 21:10, 21:22 – 22:5 You Simply Aren’t Afraid Any More (Hoffacker)

    Phyllis Tickle says that a near-death experience "irrevocably changes you. By the time you come back it is too real and too integrated into every fiber of your belief system. The end result is you simply aren't afraid anymore.... The experience clearly said to me, 'This is what it is like. This is what you are getting ready for. This is the homecoming.'"

  • Revelation 21:10, 21:22 – 22:5 A Home to Long For (Hoffacker)

    We can learn and re-learn that heaven is a community, healing, and vision. We can long for heaven in its fullness and enjoy the glimpses that appear to us now in moments of vision and healing and community. Then, when we come to the new Jerusalem, it will not seem like a strange and alien city, but will feel a lot like home.

  • Revelation 21:10, 21:22 – 22:5 Holy Places (McLarty)

    It's a Catch-22: We need holy places in which to ground our faith; yet, if we're not careful, these holy places can stand in the way of our devotion to God. So, what's the answer? The answer is found in this passage of Revelation. When God's kingdom is fulfilled, there will be no holy places, only the holiness of God.

  • Revelation 22:12-21 Revelation Revealed (Stevenson)

    The context of the book of Revelation is the persecutions of the early 2nd century. The church was under fire because Christians refused to call Caesar "Lord." Many were being martyred as examples. New and grotesque ways were invented to punish these Jesus people. Christians were fed to wild beasts. They were set ablaze and used as torches.

  • Revelation 22.12-14, 16-17, 20-21, The Last Page of The Bible (Hoffacker)

    In my childhood, I noticed something obvious about this Bible: It had a last page. Appropriately enough, this page was devoted to the concluding verses of the last book of the Bible, the Revelation to John. This led me to wonder: Did the fact of a final page mean that the Holy Spirit had fallen silent?

  • Revelation 22:16 The Morning Star (Donovan – brief meditation)

    If I awaken at the right time, I see the bright and morning star arise in the east. It isn't really a star, but the planet Venus. It dominates the eastern sky. While the stars are tiny specks of light, the morning star is like the landing light of a great airliner—a great megawatt lamp. Jesus says, "I am the... Bright and Morning Star." He is our great light.