Light from the Canticles 3: No God Beside Him!

Deut 32:19-43; Jeremiah 1:10; Hosea 6:1-3; Our last episode considered the luminous first eighteen verses of the second canticle of Moses, taken from Deuteronomy, with its many ways of picturing the Almighty.  It ended, though, on a sober note, reminding us how easy it is to forget the LORD, who “gave us birth.”  The second half of the canticle goes on to picture the LORD’s vigorous response to this human forgetfulness and…

Light from the Canticles 2: Remember the Days of Old

Deuteronomy 32:1–18 (Second Song of Moses, Part 1) As we have come to the New Year, we have been met by many poignant and wise commentaries upon life, and upon our generation.  Recently a friend of mine posted on FB a citation from St. Basil.  His situation in the fourth century, with the crisis of Arianism and newly established respectability for Christians, evidently made many nostalgic for the “old days,” just as…

Light from the Canticles 1: Gloriously He Has Been Glorified!

The Song of Moses, Exodus 15:1-19 The singing of hymns, both personally and corporately, has been part of Christian life from the very beginning.  The gospels tell us that as Jesus and his disciples prepared to go to His ordeal on the Mount of Olives, they sang a hymn (Matt 26:30; Mark 14:26). Colossians and Ephesians urge us to “sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God ״ (Col 3:16), ”making melodies…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 40: Revelation Inside Out

Traveling through the Apocalypse is an arduous experience.  We have been able, in 39 episodes, to trace significant numbers,  themes, images, and patterns , as illumined by the Old Testament, and our Church Fathers. There are seven churches with seven letters, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls.  There are the three female figures associated with humankind—the mother Queen with the crown of stars in the desert, Babylon the Whore, and the bridal…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 39: Invitation to Worship and Life

Rev 22:8-21; Deut 30:19; Genesis 1-3; Deut 30:19; Daniel 8:26, 12:14 And so we come to the end of this fascinating and daunting book.  In these final verses, we see combined elements that we have noticed throughout the book of Revelation—an assurance of its trustworthiness, a glimpse of the connection between our world and the angelic world, a call to true worship, a warning for those who remain separate from Christ, and…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 38: The River, The Tree, and The Face

Rev. 22:1-7, Genesis 1-3, Psalm 1, Psalm 35/36, Daniel 7 Finally, we reach our goal in reading the Apocalypse. Some will say that we find ourselves “back in the garden.”  But that would be to simplify the final vision.  Yes, the garden of Eden has returned, for there is no longer a curse on things, because the effects of the Fall have been removed, and health restored.  And there is water, and…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 37: The Bride, the City, and the Eternal Light

Rev 21:9-27; Ex 28:15-21; Dan 2:34-35; Ezekiel 40-43; Is 2:2-3, Is 54:11-14; Ps 48:13-15 In cinematography, significance is signaled by panning in to the object being observed, and panning across it so that everything can be seen in detail.  The same procedure can be used in describing a vision, and John does this for us here, as we come to the climax of the Apocalypse.  We have already heard several times about…