Read Revelation 21:1-7.
Hope in the Face of Empire
In an apocalyptic book filled with metaphor and confusion, we are given this passage of undoubtable hope and coming change.
The community to which the book Revelation was written needed this hope desperately. Much like the community in which Jesus was born and died, they faced persecution and despair at the hands of the Empire.
This passage embodies the Advent season. Because of an incarnate God, there is hope that things can be different. It has been almost a century since we have labeled any governing force an “Empire” in name, but the spirit of empire is still alive. Most of us don’t (at least I don’t) feel its effects like the first and second century hearers of this text. Empire manifests itself in our society and around the world. It is at play everywhere that greed and fear rule. However, because we serve and are loved by an incarnate God, who promises to dwell with us, we should be vigilant for ways we can dwell with those whom Empire effects, and we should continue to resist its presence in our own lives.
Lord, we pray that you would help us to see empire when it inevitably manifests itself around us. We pray that you would help us to stand strong in the face of empire. Lord help us to know your love and make it known to those who need to feel your presence. Thank you for dwelling with us, Lord.
Rev. Micah Watson