Apocalypse Then / Apocalypse Now: The Fall Sermon Series

By Scott Black Johnston

Zombies. Handmaids. 1984. “Winter is coming.”

Something in us wants to contemplate apocalypse. What will the end of the world look like? What sort of ghastly disease, environmental catastrophe or final battle will bring about the end of life as we know it?

On the surface, our curiosity about apocalypse can look morbid. But there’s more to it. Isn’t there?

Thinking about the end focuses us, in a powerful way, on the present. Contemplating the future, we ask: What needs to change in the here-and-now? What should we preserve? What should we resist? What sort of life should I embrace?

Thinking about the end compels us to ask: What is wrong and what is right about the world we are living in today?

This fall, our church is going to wrestle with these questions from the perspective of our faith. We are going to flex our apocalyptic muscles by studying the most controversial and (many would say) the most bewildering book in the Bible: Revelation.

We are going to plunge into the wild and wooly writings of John of Patmos. We will study his nightmares, listen to his criticisms of Church and culture, and plumb his visions for courage and hope.

Along the way, we will have help from two guest preachers—good friends of ours, Nora Tubbs Tisdale and Tom Long. We’ll get started on Homecoming Sunday (Sept. 10), pause for Reformation Sunday (Oct. 29), and then conclude just before Thanksgiving. You can see the full schedule here.

We are going to lash our souls to the powerful promise made by the Almighty: “See, I am making all things new.” It is a promise meant for you!

See you in worship.

Scott Black Johnston is the senior pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Image: William Blake, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, 1805.

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