shepherding the shepherd
The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation: Blessed for Staying Awake
Only God knows if you or I will ever personally be caught up in the upheaval of Armageddon but, regardless, our King tells us to remain awake and dressed, ready for Christ’s sudden return.
The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation: Blessed to Die in the Lord
On the afternoon of May 2, 1990, I heard holy things. Larry was a husband and father in his 30s and he was near death from cancer. I had gone to serve him Communion because he was too weak to come to church. “Even if I have a short time to live,” Larry said, “God’s given me a great hope….”
The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation: Blessed
Reading, Blessed Hearing
Revelation has a voice like no other Scripture. We’ve all seen the enormous public appeal of fantasy books, graphic novels, and Marvel movies, each one more fantastic than the last. Supervillains and superheroes, universe-threatening plots, CGI spectacles, dystopian worlds giving way to utopia. Such is Revelation, only it is all true to the bone, fantastic but never fantasy.
Up from the Dust
How do we help our people who have been beaten and left half dead in the dust? At first, we listen. We don’t want to be like Job’s friends, so we let people grieve or storm, question or hide. But in God’s good time we are called to bandage their souls, pouring on oil and wine, and give them a safe place to recover.
When the Word Works
When I was a kid in VBS we’d stand and pledge allegiance to the Bible. We also memorized this verse this way,
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Ps. 119:11 KJV)
I never forgot it. As children, that verse was assigned to us more as an admonition in hopes that one day it would become our testimony. And now it has.
Blessed and Blameless
An extraordinary gift of our pastoral calling are hours devoted to the study of the Bible. But study is not enough. We, of all people, must also embody what we read and preach or we’re liable to do more harm than good.