Revelation 12 Common English Bible (CEB)
A woman, her child, and the dragon
“12 Then a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant, and she cried out because she was in labor, in pain from giving birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: it was a great fiery red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of heaven’s stars and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was snatched up to God and his throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the desert, where God has prepared a place for her. There she will be taken care of for one thousand two hundred sixty days.”
What’s it mean?
On the tail of the August 21 Solar Eclipse we experience yet another stunning heavenly event. Many are comparing the upcoming September 23 placement of stars, planets, sun and moon to the scripture we find in Revelation 12. What does this mean?
There are some who read the book of Revelation as a timeline for the end of times. People with this understanding are quite concerned about the movement of the “heavenly bodies” on September 23. As you can see in the picture above, the “scene” depicted in the Bible can be applied to the “scene” astrology provides for us. As a result, people of this thinking, believe this is “one more sign that” the end of the world is coming.
Many have asked for my thoughts on the matter. Some are fearful, some aren’t sure if they should be fearful or not, many are confused. On top of these “heavenly events” Americans are experiencing hate in our communities and streets in a way that hasn’t been typical in the last few decades. This hate seems to be getting stronger right here in our own backyards. Confusion on how to deal with hate without hating has become an imminent concern. Our economy continues to struggle despite increased interest rates and proclamations from on high. Trust in our political system is in an all time low. Stress, hate, fear, signs seem to be everywhere. Our world seems to be falling apart around us. Is it true? Is the end coming in September?
Even more important is the question: What is a Christian’s place in the midst of all of this?
When God revealed to God’s beloved (every human) then and now: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Revelation 21:1 God also confirmed: “See, the home of God is among the mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his people and God himself will be with them” vs 3 This is reminiscent of Jesus saying to his disciples of then and now: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? … the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” John 14 Jesus was speaking to people who knew he was/is/always will be the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Son of God and the listeners were suffering under the terrible hate, stress and signs in their time. Jesus also said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” John 14
Was Jesus trying to threaten his disciples into “being good”? Or was Jesus proclaiming the Divine promise of hope that his followers can trust in and hold on to, cherish so they/we can live lives of faithful thanksgiving based on the agape (love in action) defining their/our every decision, every action, every breathe? Was the One Who Loved Us Into Being and who has provided for our Salvation, telling us to cower in a dark corner when terrible things happen? Or was the Giver of Life reminding us of what we are to be about regardless of what happens? Was the Giver of Life reminding us that our role as God’s beloved is to live out the agape and grace and blessings that we are continually given?
True Christians don’t have to run amuck suddenly and “fix” their behavior. True Christians are already, in the here and now, living according to the grace and agape and blessings and salvation given to us freely. Why would we be living this way? Because we grasp the incredibly wonder-full gifts/blessings God has already and continues to deliver to us each and every minute just because God loves us. When we finally understand (as best we can) we can do no less than live our lives in thanksgiving. Sure we mess up, yes we are still stumbling but we catch ourselves AND one another, seeking to truly live according to the grace we’ve been given.
So, are Christians the only one’s given all this amazing stuff by God? Heaven’s no! Every human being is held in God’s blessed embrace of love and grace and salvation simply because God chooses to keep you there. God calls you and every other human being “Beloved” no matter what. The only difference is knowing and accepting these gifts and allowing them to truly bless your life and living.
Heavenly signs, hostility, hate, ugliness of every kind has no hold over God’s Beloved, over those who believe in the Divine. Sure, we hurt, we feel fear, we are saddened, but none of that can control us because “we know that God works all things together for the good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
So, on September 23 walk forward into the day, holding your head high and proclaim the love of God through your walking, talking, living, watching, holding, working, driving, thinking … through it all. And on September 24, go and do likewise God’s good and faithful servant.
May you always know God’s Blessings through all things.