by Patrick Fleury
Martin Luther questioned if the book of Revelation should be part of the Bible and John Calvin commented the whole Bible except Revelation. It is therefore with anticipation that I decided to join this eight week Bible study.
The first four sessions were lead by Miriam Deffenbaugh who was able to comment with passion and illustrate the historical and cultural background of Revelation. She stressed the importance of the different letters to the seven Churches of Asia, and how their message is still relevant today to assess the vitality of our church community. Her wit, humor and dedication gave us the necessary elements to pursue with the symbolic imagery of the Book.
Pastor Andy lead the four final sessions. Andy guided us also with theological depth and humor and various videos (including a Chevrolet Super Bowl commercial!!!) through the daunting imagery of the woman, the dragon and the child, and the Beasts from the Sea and the Earth. The imagery of the fall of the city of Babylon was heavily discussed by the participants and made us question what we could change in our life in order to be closer to God.
Pastor Andy showed us that the Book of Revelation should be seen in its first century . context and not necessarily considered as having a prophetic relevance for today’s world. Participants were happy to finish the bible study with the imagery of the River and the Tree of life and the beautiful message of hope it contains ” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:17).
For me the important message of Revelation and this Bible study was that God will always be present, even in the time of fear and persecution and that He will always be with us forever from the beginning to the end. I also want to conclude by thanking all the participants for their comments, their questioning and their humor, which helped me to go through this difficult book of the Bible and deepen my faith.