Dave Brisbin 1.10.21
As our world seems to spin more and more out of control, becomes more and more precariously balanced, the word apocalyptic is being used more and more as well. We’re becoming obsessed. Movie, TV, and social media content seems to revolve more and more around apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic material, and all this cultural focus assumes that apocalypse means catastrophic destruction—world ending destruction. We get that meaning from its association with the book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. But the book of Revelation gets its name from the first Greek word of the book: apocalupsis…which means, wait for it…revelation. Better, unveiling or uncovering. The point of apocalyptic literature is not the catastrophe, but that in the midst of the destruction, God is still there, temporarily hidden by trauma and loss, but no less present and protective.

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The apocalypse is the uncovering, the unveiling of God’s continued presence, the conviction that his promises remain intact, though we can’t see how. It’s ironic that we have come to fear apocalyptic books, when they were originally meant to instill hope, but even with this original understanding in hand, are we still waiting for this apocalyptic unveiling to happen? If we are still waiting, we’re missing the point. Jesus’ Kingdom always carries the qualities of now and not yet—acceptance of and gratitude for each moment, even as we work diligently for change in the next. Jesus is saying that apocalypse, God’s unveiling, begins right now with our own decision to see or it doesn’t begin at all. If we’re really following Jesus, then we are creating little apocalypses every day, seeing God revealed in the most seemingly insignificant details. The truth Jesus is trying to convey is that if we can’t see God now, we won’t see God later…in this life or the next.

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