Going to Get a Horse: A Letter to West Franklin

Going to Get a Horse: A Letter to West Franklin May 28, 2022
West Franklin Family,
You may or may not be aware that Dave Kruse has an older sister who lives in Wisconsin. She’s a nurse. She’s a nurse who owns a horse. We interviewed her on the podcast over a year ago here. On Wednesday, Dave took a one way flight to Wisconsin so he could help his sister bring her horse to Tennessee. They drove from Wisconsin to Tennessee on Thursday. Yep. Dave Kruse traveled North to aid in bringing his sister’s horse to Tennessee. I wonder if they passed a Buc-ee’s?
This has been one of those weeks where I have imagined someone else going to get a horse. A white horse. Yes. I sure hope Jesus is walking to His heavenly stable where His white horse awaits. I am eager. Eager to see Him riding the majestic beast to earth. This is a week where the nation seems to be groaning more than laughing. Grieving more than smiling. Arguing more than hugging. Yes. I hope Jesus is walking to the barn to retrieve the horse. How long, O Lord?
Last Sunday afternoon it was the report on sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Tuesday it was the horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
This in the middle of a war in Ukraine, less than two weeks removed from a grocery store shooting, no baby formula, sky high gas prices, inflation, a pandemic, and a scare of monkey pox.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Did you know that in the book of Revelation, Jesus is quoted as saying, “Look, I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5)? That’s right. The declaration is made in the present tense. Not future. Now. As we live and breathe. As you read these words. As I type them. At this very moment – and every moment – the Jesus of Revelation is making everything new.
One author I read this week wrote:

“(The book of Revelation) does not provide a timetable for history; it gives us an inside look at the reality of history. It is not prediction but perception. It is, in short, about God as he is right now. It rips the veil off our vision and lets us see what is taking place. . . Every new year, we find a year ahead of us which God will be making all things new. Of everything that is and of everything that takes place, he will be both the source and the destination. It takes great courage to believe and great faithfulness to act upon it, for every newspaper in the country will be headlining a contradiction, and your own sin and rebellion will be turning in contrary evidence. All the same, let this word of God tear away the veil that obscures the presence and action of God in the days ahead. Every day will be a new day for God, creation, and redemption. It is only our blindness and sloth that keep us from seeing that openness in it.”

As I currently understand it, the apostle John was given a revelation from Jesus to “rip the veil off our vision and let us see what is taking place.” John, who could not be with the churches he loved and pastored, wrote a God-inspired book to give these persecuted Christians a massive dose of reality to aid in their endurance. It may not seem like it, but Jesus is ruling. It may not feel like it, but God is making new things. The hope for John was to help them imaginatively paint such a gloriously explosive vision for Jesus – the One who actually is – that the headline news would never tempt to despair. John wrote so Jesus followers would always – always – have a reason to trust, hope, love, and above all worship. What appears to be happening isn’t what is actually happening. Rather, what is really happening requires eyes to see the “presence and action of God in the days ahead.” What is actually taking place – even now – is the reign and rule of God throughout the earth who is making new things.
West Franklin, you are aware that I plan to preach Revelation – beginning June 19th. That’s three weeks and a day from right now. 22 chapters. 22 days from today. I want to challenge you to read the book of Revelation – a chapter a day, every day – up until the series begins. If you start today with Revelation 1, and read a chapter every day, you will finish when the series begins.
Here’s a more difficult challenge: as you read, don’t try to figure out symbols and timing and “deeper meanings” and such. Don’t get other people’s opinions or thoughts on the matter. Just prayerfully read it. And, as you read, remember John is writing to Christians who live in a world that appears as if God has lost all control. Remember – John isn’t wanting us to try to figure out dates and charts and timing. He wants to “rip the veil off our vision and let us see what is (actually) taking place.” He understands our “blindness and sloth that keep us from seeing” what is really happening. So he wrote down what he saw. God gave it to him so we might worship our way through very confusing and troubling times.
This has been one of those weeks where I envision (hope!) Jesus walking to the stable to saddle up the white horse. A week where my longing for His return intensifies. A week where I need what God revealed to John while he was exiled to an island. Let’s read it together. And don’t miss the forest for the trees. The universe is being ruled by the glorious and sovereign and powerful and loving Jesus. And He is making new things. He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
On the lookout with you,
Pastor Matt
TOMORROW (May 29th) – ONE SERVICE ONLY at 10:30 am & 1 John 1:1-4.

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