I and a small group of intrepid members of my congregation have been heaving our way through the book of Revelation for the last half-dozen weeks, and it ain't easy going. The convoluted mind of John of Patmos and the circuitous, repetitive pattern of his visions are notoriously unforgiving.
It was a rough time recently for the area of the church I serve, as the news of a young man's suicide hit the town hard. It was a hard weekend, as one of the faith communities just a short walk from my own spoke out words of sorrow and blessing over that life.
Sunday morning, as I was doing the final edit on my sermon, I flitted briefly to web-based news sources to check in on the world. It's always wise, before the community gathers, to be sure you're not blithely arriving, unaware of some momentous and terrible event.