The concert tragedy in Houston brought me back to the only time I was in a mosh pit. In college I went with my friend Brett downtown to see POD. A Christian band, bent on outreach, one of the other bands led with the chat “F— the world”. A strange moment for my bubble wrapped SBU mind** – but an epiphany of how many hate their lot in life. How many needed what POD brought.
When POD began we moved to the front and experienced the chaos of the crowd. Everyone jumping and smashing. Shouting. Energy. It was exhilarating… and scary. I was a skinnier version of myself, maybe 150 pounds. At one point I got knocked to the ground and struggled to pull myself up. Then a hand grabbed my shirt. Lifted me in the air to his face. Biker burly. I was a foot off the ground. “Be careful little man!” He set me down and went back into the chaos.
I saw big man after the concert. As I went to say thanks, he grabbed another person (yelling curses and “girlfriend”) and started obliterating their face. I headed home pondering that the man I saw as an angel, another saw as a devil.
This Sunday we continue our series on Revelation. John’s book reveals, or unveils, our world. Two powers are at work. Both seek out allegiance. Evil obliterates. God saves. We participate in both. Bringing into the physical world the powers’ desires. Always before us is the choice. Who will we follow?… and the decision’s ramifications affect earth and heaven. — I hope you join us as we discuss the dragon in the nativity and in our world (Revelation 12). Sunday at 10:30 Live or streaming on Facebook and Youtube.
** A bubblewrapped attempt to avoid, rather than confront, evil is standard Christian practice. Even the evil in our personal life. A visual example was POD’s album cover (below). The art is imaginative and complex. It symbolizes God’s work and our struggle to serve God in a world pulling us away. But to get this cover you could not buy the album in the Christian store. There the cover was blacked out, ignoring evil, and revealing only God’s work. (So I purposely went to a secular store.)
This may seem inconsequential. But it reveals our fear of sin. Rather than face it, we cover it (put a mask on for church). And at the root this reveals we misunderstand the gospel. Sin has been defeated and we, the church, join God’s work to bring all things under the feet of Jesus. We work to make all things right.
When we ignore sin and its consequences, we become people who long for escape. Rather than forward outposts of God’s kingdom, we are people in retreat. We long to fly away.
But, as Revelation unveils, God’s plan is not to retreat. But to return. To make all things right. And dwell again among the people.