Someone once asked Martin Luther what he would do if he knew that Christ was coming again tomorrow. Luther’s response was that he would plant an apple tree today. I think Brother Mar-tin had a healthy dose of skepticism when it came to end-time predictions. Luther wasn’t that interested in speculating about the future; he was more interested in what we did with our time in the present.
People often approach the book of Revelation as if it were a calendar predicting end-time events. But the book of Revelation is more interested in telling us how to live our lives as Christians in the present. The prophet John was writing to Christians living in scary times, and he described his world in frightening ways.
We too, live in frightening times with terrorist attacks and threats, wars and refugee crises, se-vere weather, earthquakes and tsunamis. The world is changing so quickly, often in frightening ways. How do we live faithful lives in such times? How do we live as Christians in a world that often lives by a different set of values? The book of Revelation has a lot to teach us.
In the Easter season, the lectionary readings take us on a trip through the book of Revelation. I hope you will join us for worship, and then stay for Adult Forum for coffee and conversation on this interesting book. (And no, the mark of the beast is not the Green Bay Packers logo, much as Minnesota Vikings fans would like to make it.)
PS- the story about Martin Luther is often attributed to him, but Luther scholars think it was probably made up, as it first appears around the 1940s. But it’s still a good story!