There once was a fierce pirate who loved nothing—so the story goes . . .
He lived alone on an island and, one day, he tried to capture the moon.
He found a book about the moon and captured everything the moon loved, in order to capture the moon.
Scripture refers to the moon as the “Faithful Witness.”
And the Revelation refers to the Faithful Witness as Jesus.
The seven churches are each called to conquer, each of them has tremendous needs, like us, and so we all want to know: “What must we do ‘after this,’ . . . after the seven letters and all of our problems have been elucidated?”
The seven churches faced a variety of problems and one common problem: Gnosticism.
Gnosticism is faith in knowledge.
It’s not just a Greek problem; it’s also a Jewish problem.
It’s actually the human problem—as if we thought we could save ourselves by taking knowledge from a tree.
There are different ways of knowing and different things that can be known.
“After this,” we expect some knowledge on how we can conquer.
But, “after this” we get a Revelation of Jesus.
John sees the throne of God and around the throne 24 elders.
They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you to receive all glory honor and power.” The 24 are at least the 12 sons of Israel and the 12 apostles of the Lamb. And all 24 were pirates . . . but act like pirates no more. Pirates are all about crowning themselves.
There once was a pirate who tried to capture the moon, but when the moon came down the pirate was captured by the glory of the moon, and so the pirate who loved nothing now loved the moon . . . and began to dance.
We all took knowledge of the Good on a tree in a garden.
And on that tree in that garden, God gave His Life and He is the Good.
He is the Faithful Witness. He is the blood red moon.
When we see Him, we will begin to dance.
The 24 elders continually cast their crowns before the One on the throne. And the One on the throne continually crowns them. It is the dance of Life. It is eternal. And it is holy, for it moves in the exact opposite direction of the human ego and this entire fallen world.
God created pirates who try to capture the moon so that the moon can capture those pirates so that those pirates will dance forever in the Light of His Love.
We conquer by being conquered by the Glory of Love—Jesus.
Look to the throne.
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: 1.7.2017 Discussion Questions