A week has now passed since we sang the “Alleluias” celebrating Christ’s resurrection. Pastors, worship committees and music leaders are taking a rest from the many Holy Week and Easter services. So as we move on down the calendar from Easter Sunday, the question comes up “Now What?” What do we do and where do we go from here?
Part of the assigned readings for the next couple weeks will be from the book of Revelation. I plan to be concentrating on these. Today we begin from the first chapter of Revelation. Revelation means “revealing.” The book is the revealing of Jesus Christ as the Alpha and the Omega, the first born from the dead. John, the recipient of this revelation has been exiled to the Island of Patmos which was a Roman penal colony. He was there likely for his missionary work and refusing to submit to the rising tide of emperor worship. This revelation was for the church to remain faithful to Christ who will return as the great victorious Lamb.
The book of Revelation was recorded about sixty years after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Sixty years is a long time in human terms. Over sixty years we lose focus. We get busy with other things. Our exuberance fades away. We begin to question the level of our commitment. Whether sixty years or two thousand years, the challenge for the church is to always remain faithful. Last Sunday worshipers in Sri Lanka were victims of bombings while they celebrated Christ’s victory. For others in the church, the challenge is far more subtle to turn allegiance over for political influence or cultural power. The pull from the world around us is strong and never gives up. Yet we are reminded that Christ’s rule extends over the defiant kings of the earth.
Last week was Easter. This week we might be asking, “Now what?” The answer from Revelation is to remain faithful witnesses to the One who we’ll see coming in glory with the clouds… the One “who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”