What is the most creative thing you have ever done?
Many years ago I had gotten into the habit of watching Bob Ross paint pictures, in what was called the Bob Ross method. There is even a movie out there someplace called “Paint” with Owen Wilson, with this happy little clouds.
Ross was painting landscapes and it seemed to me that that was something I might be able to do, so got some paints, canvases, and painted some paintings.
But you understand that being creative is built in – we were created to be creative – because the God who created us is the source of creativity.
So our desire to sing about creation, our desire to sing whenever we encounter creation is absolutely innate.
And when we sing joy, we sing hope, we sing tribulation and transformation and we are singing creation!
The book of Revelation reminds us that not only was creation sung in the very beginning of time when God created the heavens and the earth, but there is another song of creation coming at the end of time when God consummates the great adventure that is creation.
The revelation of John - or the Book of Revelations as we often call it -paints an amazing and sometimes disconcerting picture of what will be the final setting for the Kingdom of God.
Depending on your theological or church denominational background you may have heard different understandings of the end of time.
Our best course is to just let the pictures of the Revelation remind us that our God is a creative God who plans to make the end of time just as glorious and stupendous as was the beginning of time.
And if, which is very likely, we don’t understand, well, how many of us understand the first creation.
What does make sense is to see what the author of the Revelation - believed to be the disciple John - wants us to see and hear.
That at the end of time when the whole of God’s Kingdom is finally all in one place and all of creation can finally give adequate praise, worship and thanksgiving to God the creator, it will be a spectacle beyond all imagining.
All those alive in that day and time will see it, but get this, so will all those who have struggled and suffered and gone on before. All of us from all of time who have worship the lamb of God, will participate in the great celebration.
And while the picture presented by John may not be what your head and heart imagines that scene will be like (it is not what I imagine I can tell you that) the point is not the details but rather the news that whatever it looks like, what it will feel like, it will be the most joyous, glorious, totally cool celebration you have ever attended!
And what will be at the center of it all with be the Lamb of God! Creation will have come full circle - from the struggle to the glory. And you and I and all of us together will right in the midst.
Bigger and more amazing than any Academy Awards party. Thousands of times the grandeur and yet more intimate than any celebration any earthly King has ever staged, any wedding party, any inauguration, any coronation, grander than anything Rome or London or Washington, could do.
A gathering with all those who have followed Jesus in all the generations, all those filled with the Holy Spirit, all those who lived for Yahweh all in the same place – with God in the very midst of it all.
One friend said one time that this celebration will be the best one you ever saw, ever felt, were ever a part of times a million. Imagine such a thing - grandeur and intimacy on steroids.
A place and time where you can finally meet Jesus’ face to face and feel his loving embrace and yet where all of time and space is present too.
John shares this picture with us so we can see what is ahead, through a glass darkly as the Apostle Paul says, not a clear iphone 14 picture, but rather a rough glimpse, like through a dirty window, just enough of a picture to tell us that hanging on and hanging in is worth everything that the wait for the end of time may cost us.
That ahead of us is a day and time when creation and all that is part of it finally all comes together.
Where we will finally understand that it is not about us, but all about God, yet see the truth that we have been part of it all since God imagined it. A moment of power and a moment of grace.
A moment where we will understand all that we have been part of.
Ten times now we have watched episodes of The Chosen.
If you have not seen this attempt to portray Jesus’ life in its original context you need to. It will change forever the way to see Jesus and his disciples and Jesus’ ministry. You will laugh, you will cry, you will scratch your head, and your mind will be blown…
But even more than that you will want to follow him too!
And hear me, that following of Jesus is leading to this final and eternal moment, where we are in God’s presence forever, singing creation.
Consider… maybe now is the time to throw your lot in with those who are following the one of whom John says in his gospel,
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. 2 From the very beginning the Word was with God. 3 And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created 4 received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone.