God Wins.

First let me ask if any of you have any questions about the Book of Revelation. Any questions?

(Pause for questions)

Good. Hearing none, I will move on!

Just kidding.

I have led a couple of Bible studies on Revelation over the years, and I’ve found them to be challenging. Two things I share – these are very broad and general, I know:

  1. Context, context, context. For whom is this material being shared? What was their situation, and the political and social structure in that time and place? This is so very important for understanding this book.
  2. In the end, God wins! 


God wins.

With those two lenses, I believe there are words of hope we can glean from Revelation, which is a source of many texts for our Lutheran liturgies.

Amidst suffering, there is hope.

Several years ago, my wife and I attended a funeral for our friend’s son, who was murdered on his front lawn in front of his own home. The service was held at a Baptist Church in Columbus, near where we lived. At that funeral one of the ministers shared a story about his time in third grade, when his favorite teacher asked the students to write a paper on what they wanted to be when they grew up. The minister was so excited, because he wanted to impress his teacher, and he wrote the best paper he could. He thought it was an incredible masterpiece. He was confident that he would get an “A” on the composition. He wrote and wrote and wrote. His teacher was going to be amazed.

But when he got the paper back, he was sad to see that instead of the “A” that he expected, he got a “C-.” The teacher wrote on the paper that the information was good, but that he didn’t use any punctuation.

He went on to preach that, over the years, he has learned the importance of punctuation. And he has learned there is a difference between a comma and a period, and that the good news of great joy is that Jesus’ death on the cross is not a period, but a comma.

Death is not the final word. Death is not the last word of the book.

Because of Jesus Christ, the final word is life.

And after that word “life” an exclamation point is appropriate.

Punctuation is important.

Questions are good. God’s answers are even better!

God wins!

Revelation 2:8-10 


“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:


“I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 

Let us pray:

Help us to trust in you for the things we do not know or do not completely understand. Listen to our questions; help us to find the answers only you can give. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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