1 Corinthians 15:24-25 – Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. (NIV)
I recently had the tremendous privilege of attending a performance of a new oratorio, written by Victor Davies, entitled "Revelation". As the music proceeded to a modern working of "Worthy is the Lamb" and other versions of the words so familiar to one raised on the beauty of Handel's Messiah, I had a feeling something like the one Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz, when she said to Toto, "I don't think we're in Kansas any more."
The contrast is so great it is upsetting at first, but soon one begins to realize that here is the timeless message in a modern setting, and it is powerful and beautiful in its own way. More important is the fact that the essential message of this prophecy is coming through loud and clear. As a new Christian said to someone deploring the problems of our day, "Don't worry, I read God's book, and in the last chapter it says, 'We win.'" This is the glorious message, and it is one we need to remember every day.
Paul, in today's scripture passage, looks forward to the last day when Christ will be triumphant. John, in the Revelation, looks forward to the day when "the kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ". Back in the Old Testament, Isaiah told us that one day the Messiah's justice would cover the whole earth. (Isaiah 42:4)
We Christians too often lose sight of the global and eternal dimensions of the work in which we are involved for Jesus. We quarrel over petty things, creating divisions amongst ourselves, and we cause the gospel to lose power, truth and relevance. We need to recast the ancient truths in modern, shocking expressions so that we will not lose sight of the glory and eternal majesty of our goal: nothing less than bringing all dominion, power and authority under the feet of Christ. It may not be Kansas, but it will be a far, far better place than we can now imagine!
Prayer: Lord, You see the end from the beginning. Help us to live our lives in the light of the last chapter, the ever-enduring one, knowing that You have won the victory. Help us to proclaim the ancient and eternal truths in fresh ways that will lead this generation to bow in humble reverence and rise up to serve the living God in joy. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.