“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.” – Revelation 1:3
Revelation has a reputation for thinking about the end of the world. I initially interpreted this book as a collection of ominous and threatening writings which left me feeling like I want to respectfully roll my eyes and ultimately distance myself from it. I read the opening of Revelation thinking that the main message was that I needed to study the Bible more, so I could be prepared for “the time” that “is near.” Reading that the Lord God is “the Alpha and the Omega,” I start to take stock of the year, questioning how much I have placed God at the beginning and the end of what has been done and left undone.
But in trying to understand Revelation better, I am beginning to see that John is writing to early Christians to strengthen them, not threaten them and I take comfort in that. In this season of preparing but also of reflecting on the past year, I would also like you to be encouraged, not threatened, by the value of the scriptures and the overwhelming availability of God to us. When it comes to stress and injustice, the time is always near; let us be infused with hope by these words the way John meant us to be.
Jami Sweeney is the Middle School Director at The Post Oak School. The Sweeney family has been in Houston since July 2013. Jami is married to Sarah, an Episcopal priest and CPE supervisor at St. Luke’s in the med center and they have a son Ira, 7, who attends Post Oak.