Posts Tagged ‘John of Patmos’

Exodus 23:1-9: We are God’s Dwelling Place

Saturday, November 30, 2019

You shall not repeat a false report.

Do not join the wicked in putting your hand, as an unjust witness, to anyone.  Neither shall you allege the example of the many for an excuse for doing wrong.

Nor shall you  . . . side with the many in perverting justice.

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or ass going astray, see to it that it is returned to him.

When you notice the ass of one who hates you lying prostrate under its burden . . . help him to raise it.

You shall not deny one of your needy fellow-men his rights in a lawsuit.

You shall keep away from anything dishonest.

You shall not put the innocent or just to death . . . You shall not acquit a guilty man.

Never take a bribe.  Bribes blind even the most clear-sighted and twist the words even of the just.

You shall not oppress an alien . . . since you were once aliens yourselves.

If we might only heed these oh so old words . . . there would be oh so much less strife among us!

Paul reminds us that Christ fulfills this old Mosaic Law, telling us that he even comes to supersede it. He also reminds us that we are significant members of God’s family.

You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the capstone.  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:19-22)

John of Patmos has a vision of the New Earth and the New Jerusalem in which he reports a loud voice from the throne saying: Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.  He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God].  (Revelation 21:3)

Jesus is not God’s Plan B.  He does not arrive to live among us as an afterthought or as a fixative for something that has gone wrong.  He has always been and will always be the thought and action of God among us . . . The Word.  It was always intended that we live peaceably side by side, helping one another with our troubles, lifting one another to new levels of spiritual maturity, coaxing, exhorting and encouraging one another over the hurdles we encounter in our journey.  Yet even as we are a collective, we also have the individual responsibility to see to our own growth, to gather around us friends who live by the Mosaic and Christian codes, to rebuke one another, to listen to one another, and to love one another.  We might look back from our twenty-first century vantage point to see the pieces fall into place.  We can see that from the earliest stages of our development as peoples, God was abiding with us.  We can also see that he abides with us still.  Let us praise God!  Let us sweep the floors clean . . . renew the old and new rules . . . and welcome him into the dwelling place of our hearts.

Written on November 9, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://wau.org/resources/article/re_gods_dwelling_place/ and http://life-in-a-jiffy.blogspot.com/2011/06/nature-hearts.html

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Revelation 1: Do Not Fear – Part XI

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Carlo Maratti: John the Evangelist on Patmos

Carlo Maratti: John the Evangelist on Patmos

John brings us his Patmos vision in the first chapter of Revelation.

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (verse 1:9)

John tells us why he writes his apocalyptic prophecy.

I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches”.  (verses 1:10-11)

John describes the Living God’s response to his fear.

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades”. (verse 1:17-18)

The Cave of St. John on the Island of Patmos

The Cave of St. John on the Island of Patmos

Today, as we reflect on John’s words, we might ask ourselves, “In this new year, how do we open ourselves to the promise of peace God offers to us with the gift of his entry into the world as a small, vulnerable child?”

Throughout Christmastide, we continue to reflect on the meaning of the prophetic description of the Living God as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.

Apocalyptic literature can be difficult to take in. For commentary on the Book of Revelation, visit: http://www.usccb.org/bible/scripture.cfm?bk=Revelation&ch=

The Island of Patmos Today

The Island of Patmos Today

When we explore other translations of these verses, we begin to understand how our fears disconnect us from the one who is the beginning and end of all.

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The Lion of Judah becomes the Lamb of God


January 7, 2015

Joy and the Beast

Revelation 19:7

The New Testament closes with the apocalyptic verses written by John of Patmos. Filled with extravagant symbolism and vivid descriptions of the coming end, these verses are best understood with a solid commentary. With its origin in a time of crisis, Revelation’s metaphors bring us the good news that each of us is the beautiful bride about to enter into holy and eternal union with Christ, the bridegroom. These are words that surprise the faithful . . . and us . . . with joy.

Just when turmoil and crisis are about to take over the new church of Jesus-followers, John of Patmos writes that they are saved in extravagant style. The message here is simple. “Hold on. Stand fast. Your hope will not be disappointed. Your joy is upon you”.

Revelation 19:7: Let us be joyful and glad! Let us give him glory! It is time for the Lamb’s wedding. His bride has made herself ready.

Linda Harris-Lorio: Dance of the Bride

Linda Harris-Lorio: Dance of the Bride

“Persecution and suffering were undoubtedly real. These [early] Christians were faced with the choices of all who suffer oppression. Were they to resist violently and seek the overthrow of Rome? That was futile as well as contrary to their ethos. Were they simply to cooperate? That would be to lose their identity. They chose the path of passive resistance. They did not fight the beast, but neither would they do its bidding”. (Senior RG 575-576)

John of Patmos speaks to any of God’s faithful who suffer at the hands of unethical, dishonest or oppressive leaders; and he speaks to us today as we begin to close our Joy Through Scripture Series of reflections. What was true for the early Christians is also true for us: even in the most dire of circumstances, the faithful need not struggle against the oppression they experience. They – and we – can never be devoured by the beast. They – and we – are the bride of the eternal, forgiving, loving, redeemer Christ. Against this one, no beast will prevail. With this one, the faithful will survive. For this one the world has been waiting. Through this one, the faithful live in timeless, ever-present joy.

joyLet us move forward today in acceptance of this gift that is so graciously and wonderfully given in the darkest of times and places, the gift of Christ’s redeeming joy in us.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 572, 575-577. Print.

For information on the life of John of Patmos, visit: http://www.usccb.org/bible/revelation/0

Visit the PBS Frontline resource and read about the author of Revelation:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/revelation/white.html  

Explore the Frontline topics and consider how Christ’s joy might change the balance of power and the influence of corruption in our own lives. Spend time also considering how each of us might bring Christ’s joy to the world.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/


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