I was having a discussion with Revd Lizzie about my New Year's resolutions and she asked me to write a blog about it. For those of you who don't know me, I have been coming to St Peter's on and off for some 20 years, and I'm also the church administrator. So here goes:
Happy New Year to you all! Once again we're at that time when most of us are trying to lose a few extra pounds after Christmas, and focusing on resolutions for the year to come. (Maybe I should just give up cheese and kill two birds with one stone?!)
Joking aside, one of my resolutions this year is to learn to love the book of Revelation.
Seeing Revelation in the Lectionary always fills me with dread. I find the end-of-the-world apocalyptic writing unnerving, and like many other Christians, I tend to avoid it if I can. Talk of 'the mark of the beast, 666' 13:16-18; the dragon, standing in front of the woman in labour, 'so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born' 12:4; the four horsemen, symbolising (I think) conquest, war, famine and death, 6:1-8; a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes 5:6; bowls, seals, trumpets, earthquake, plague, the devil, the abyss... I suppose it's easy to see why many of us choose to shy away from the book.
As is so often the case, it's human nature to avoid those things we don't fully understand, and to make our own assumptions as to what they're really all about. So it's time that I embraced Revelation. I'm going to read and re-read it, and to read the commentary to help me understand the purpose of the book, rather than my imagination's interpretation of it. In doing so, I hope to understand the message that this book brings. To reassure myself that it need not fill me with dread any more. Reading my Bible always brings me closer to God. It's time I stopped avoiding something I don't yet fully understand, and learned to love it instead.
So, has the New Year encouraged you to make any resolutions that might draw you closer to God?