The first frost kisses the landscape with a blanket of silvery white. Everything is going to sleep. The flowers we planted and watered, the trees we placed and coaxed to take root, they begin their slumber under the fresh cover. Bold colours and busy bees quiet as the coming winter brings dormancy. They sleep; it is as it should be. The call to wake up must wait for spring.
Yet it is against this serene backdrop that everything inside me cries, “Wake up!” Coming through several months of study in the book of Revelation my pulse is quickened with an awareness that though the season of slumber has come upon the land it must not come upon us.
The opening pages of Revelation tell us that this book is the revelation of Jesus Christ and it’s to show us what must soon take place. We are urged to read it, hear the words, and do them because the time is near.
This is not the time to sleep.
Joshua Mitchell, a professor of political theory in the government department of Georgetown University, published an article entitled, “The Age of Exhaustion.” In this fascinating piece, Mitchell argues that having worked to secure our freedom we have lost the energy to do the work required to maintain or defend it. We don’t care so much if we lose the freedom, as long as those in power promise us security and entertainment. We follow politics not out of a desire to better our world, but to be entertained by the spectacle. Barney becomes our philosopher; we are content with sharing is caring and everybody gets a prize. We silence voices that dissent, not with public lynchings but with public shaming via social media. We refuse to listen to each other but are slow to think for ourselves.
In this age of exhaustion we are content to slumber. To answer the call to wake up seems like too much work.
The pages of Revelation are a wake-up call. They do not offer passive entertainment we can critique from our couch. They urge, they push, they uncover – and it is all for our good if we will but listen.
In the beauty that is the gospel, extended invitation is always mixed in with the siren call.
Grace to you – undeserved, unmerited favour from Almighty God.
Peace to you – though sin has brought hostility between God and man, the One who is, and was, and is to come, offers the peace of restored relationship.
The One who loves us – not because He has washed us clean but before He washes us – sets us free with His own blood. He is coming back and every eye will see Him.
And that will not be the time to wake up.
In the coming days/weeks, I hope to share some of the fruit of my study in Revelation. It is my greatest desire that what I write here will turn you to the pages of Scripture itself.
At the end of each entry, I’ll include a passage of Scripture and some points to think about. I would love to see discussion break out over what you have read and where it has led your thoughts. I write with a sense of urgency because time is short. No, I don’t have a timeline. I believe the Author of Scripture is far more interested in having you seek out the One who holds time rather than busy yourself seeking a timeline of events. Time is short because we are wise to number our days. Even 80 years is short in light of eternity.
Blessings to you my friends near and far – I anticipate the journey!
Read: Revelation Chapter 1:1-8
- What are some different ways God is described in this passage (names/titles)
- To be ‘blessed’ essentially means to be approved/find approval. According to Revelation 1:3, what are the blessings of this book?
- In verse 6, who are we priests to? What does this mean about the direction of our focus?
- Verse 7 talks about wailing. What do you think that’s referring to? How does Zechariah 12:10 and Matthew 24:30 help or change your understanding?
- Read verse 8 and then read Exodus 3:14-15 – what is God saying about Himself?
 Revelation 1:1
 Revelation 1:3
 Joshua Mitchell, “Age of Exhaustion,” The American Interest, October 10, 2015
 Revelation 1:4
 Revelation 1:5-7