When I thought about what might comprise my meditative Monday post, I reflected on what my pastor spoke about just yesterday. We did an introduction to the book of Revelation. No, he's not crazy. Yes, we're all excited. There was a lot of background and context, and some disclaimers. The main thing I walked away with is that just like the rest of the New Testament, Revelation is about Jesus Christ--who He is, His character and nature. The first sentence of Revelation tells us that. Everything else in Revelation continues to let us know who is in charge. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He's bigger than our fears, smarter than any terrorist, outside of space and time; and he has already conquered death, hell and the grave. He's in charge. The world doesn't look like it yet, but it's still true.
What I didn't realize is that Osama Bin Laden would turn up dead last night. I watched the news with mixed emotions today. When did we as a nation decide that it's ok to dance and celebrate over death? Did Osama deserve death for what he's done? Probably. But I am not the judge of the universe. Don't all of us deserve death for our sins? That's what my Bible teaches. That's why we need the cross, the sacrifice. I am not comfortable with rejoicing over the death of a human. You can reduce him to sub-human if you want, and justify your bloodlust. But we have not conquered evil. We have not overcome the true enemy through our military force.
Revelation says that we will overcome through the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and loving not our lives unto death. We destroyed the face of evil, but not evil itself. Only when Jesus brings the Kingdom of God to fruition on earth will evil be eradicated. Until then, we can pray "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Jesus taught us to pray this prayer because the Kingdom of God CAN be realized on earth through our living out our lives in love, deference, compassion and forgiveness...NOW. I am reminded that Jesus died even for the lowliest, even Bin Laden.
I leave you with the Beatitudes and the picture Jesus himself drew of a world upside-down. A world that paints peacemaking and meekness as strength. Blessing enemies, turning the other cheek and all kinds of ideas that are counter-intuitive in our current world system. Imagine a world that worked like this:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.