Remembering God's Future

2011, 64 pp
Many people find the book of Revelation a mysterious puzzle and ignore it because they don’t have the tools to help them understand the text. Other people are eager to leap to what Revelation may mean for us today and pay little attention to understanding the book in the context of its time or as part of the framework of the entire biblical story – from Genesis through to Revelation. Either response can cause Christians to miss the inspiring vision, or panoramic picture, of the Revelation puzzle. As any successful puzzler will know, paying attention and building the framework are both essential for unscrambling and recreating the fractured picture.

Puzzle building is an activity that a number of generations in my extended family have enjoyed. As a child, I observed my father searching for all the edge pieces first to build the frame. Then, using the picture on the box, pieces would be sorted according to sections of major colour or shading. This became the process for taking the chaotic pile of 1000 pieces, building small sections of the puzzle at a time, and eventually putting the whole picture together.

This is also the approach I invite you to take with this study and prayer guide. While we will only work and pray with material from one fascinating and inspiring corner of the “Revelation puzzle,” it is still essential to build the frame before we sort and reconnect the puzzling, beautiful words from Revelation 21 and 22 that inspired Mennonite Church Canada’s 2011 Assembly. And once we have the frame, we will let Professor Loren Johns ably lead us in sorting and assembling the epic vision of God’s future, as he did for the participants of the It’s Epic: Remembering God’s Future Assembly, in Waterloo, 2011.

The study and prayer materials that follow are rich. I hope each and every one of you can engage it to its fullest. If a group study format leaves you short on time, I encourage you to start each session by first choosing one or two of the study questions, and then to work backward through the material to glean information and inspiration that is relevant to the chosen question(s). The fullness of the topic can always be encountered again on an individual basis, or at a later time.

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