It’s a mystery…




Revelation 6:1 Then I (the apostle John) saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures call out, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there was a white horse! Its rider had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer.

John is sharing a vision given to him by God describing a time of tribulation that will come before the final Kingdom of God emerges. This chapter of Revelation describes the opening of seven seals on seven scrolls. But what does all this really mean?

Answer? I’m not sure.

I have over 2,500 books in my theological library. That’s a lot of books. And in those books are plenty of theories about the meaning of the scrolls, the horse, the riders, and other elements introduced in Revelation, but there is no general agreement. For instance, the white horse of v.2 may represent the triumph of Jesus Christ, or the triumph of the gospel, ot the triumph of the ancient church – or something else entirely. Lots of guesses, no definitive answers.

I find there are many elements of the Christian faith that I don’t really understand. The Roman Catholic church, at least the church of my youth, had a concept I have found very helpful in matters like this. Matters which are important to the faith, but difficult to understand with a limited human mind, they would refer to as “holy mysteries”. Forgive me, Catholics, if I’m not using this terminology correctly.

For instance, how exactly is our God one in three persons – Father, Son, and Spirit? How was the world created in the beginning? Did a “big bang” ever occur? Is the theory of evolution more than a theory? Why are there two creation stories in Genesis? What the heck was John talking about in the book of Revelation? I could go on.

The concept of the “holy mystery” helps me make peace with the fact that there is so much I don’t know or understand. 

What questions do you wrestle with as it relates to faith? The truth is, there are many things we just won’t know or understand until we can one day ask the Lord face to face.

Lord Jesus, help us in our wrestling with holy mysteries. Give us grace to understand all that we can now, while making peace with the things we cannot. We ask this in your precious name. Amen.

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