This Week's Word

Revelation 1:6…

When a child is born we think of the majesty of the creation process. It is one of the reasons many couples come to Christ – or return to Christ – in the times surrounding the birth of a child.
In childbirth, we sense the presence of God in ways not known to us in the normal course of everyday life. His presence is extraordinary. Divine. Glorious.

In the contemplation of life, and in thinking of the trajectory of life, much hope is found. It is the abundance of hope we have in the presence of new life that redemption finds its greatest meaning. Surely this new life will exceed all and any hopes we have had in any of our previous life experience.

In the knowledge this Child is indeed divine, can you imagine what their hopes must have been?
The entry of this Child into this world was lowly. As lowly as one could possibly imagine, and degrading in so many ways no one would desire it for any child. It was the announcement that was indeed glorious – more glorious than the announcement of the birth of any child ever born in human history. There was so much hope, even in the midst of the degradation of the circumstances.

But had the fruition of this Life been a disappointment? So much promise had seemingly been unrealized in the Life of this Child. Cut off in the prime of His life. His destiny – for those who knew His destiny – only partly fulfilled, and even destroyed.

Likewise, the lives of those who chose to follow the presentation of His majesty and all the hopes of redemption found in the promise of His life similarly had their lives destroyed and devastated. Following this One had come at such a high price.

By the end of the first century, the Romans still ruled, the Jews were still an oppressed minority, and the ones who chose to follow this Jesus were persecuted and murdered without mercy. Of the eleven original disciples only John remained. The rest murdered, martyred for their faith. John himself, at 90 years of age had faced down Roman emperor Domitian. Lowered into a cauldron of boiling oil, preserved supernaturally, John had not died, or even been burned. Domitian, frustrated and angry, had John exiled to the island of Patmos, about 25 miles offshore of Turkey. It was a cold, stark place. John was put into forced labor in the mines. Was this his reward for such a faithful life in following Jesus Christ?

For John – and for the Church – everything was about to change…Only NOW do we see Who this Child really is…

Pastor Bill