painting of a family around a table

Questions for Reflection and Discussion – Revelation 4

The Uniform Series text for Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) is Revelation 4. Here are some questions we might (or might not) want to consider in class:

In v1 the author sees a door standing open in heaven. If we saw something like that, how would we feel – e.g., curious, frightened, excited, other – and why?

The physical description of “the one sitting on the throne” seems to emphasize brilliance: the one “looks like jasper and carnelian,” there are flashes of lightning, and glittering substances all around the throne. What does this brilliance say about God to us? Why? Why does the author not mention the size of the throne or the one sitting on it, do we think?

The 24 elders are generally thought to represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles. What might it signify, that representatives of Israel and the early church are engaged in eternal, heavenly worship of God ? What implications does this have for us? Why?

What words would we use to describe the heavenly scene in this text (e.g., awesome, frightening, dream-like, …)? Why? What difference does it make how we describe the scene?

The heavenly liturgy calls God the “ruler of everything,” and emphasizes God’s glory, honor, and power. How is this vision of God similar to the way you most often think about God, how is it different? What effect does this vision have on you? Why?

How is John’s vision of heaven similar to the vision(s) of heaven familiar to us from popular culture? How is it similar to the images you most often have of heaven? How is it different from those? What difference does this vision of heaven make for our thoughts about heaven? Why? Does John’s vision of heaven have a purpose, do we think – that is, is there some reason we need to know what John saw? What is it, do we think?

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painting of a family around a table

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