A friend and I have the opportunity to teach a class on the book of Revelation for a few weeks at our Church. To be honest this is a daunting task. If one breaks down the numbers, we have 6 weeks, forty minutes per week to go over twenty-two chapters. And since it’s Revelation, the need for time is all the more apparent, especially since we are not approach it according to current Left Behind standards. But we don’t have talk to really compare different ways of interpretation. I think you get my drift.
We have decided to approach the class according five “visions” of God, world, evil, church, and new creation. And our theological guide/assumption to whole class comes from Matthew 6:10, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Basically we are trying to approach more a theology of revelation as opposed to a verse-by-verse interpretation.
In our preparation, Jodi drew my attention to a song by Over the Rhine called The Trumpet Child. I have to say that this song is brilliant! For the sake of space, here is a link to the lyrics. This is a song that you have to listen to many times. The title comes from Revelation 10:7, when the seventh angel is about to blow the trumpet. This is one of the images of new creation in Revelation, when it will be on earth as it is in heaven. Notice the way Over the Rhine thinks about God as a person involved in re-creation and not as some cosmic clock waiting for things to wind down according to a set schedule, as one “improvising a kingdom come” and “riffing off love.” Like many people today, Over the Rhine is thinking about God in terms of music, particularly Jazz, as they make reference to the manner of God’s playing new creation into reality as Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and Thelonious Monk, the beauty of Jazz being improvisation, originality, and surprise. So here’s the song.