Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 24 de julho de 2015
SOWERS OF PEACE
After this I
and there before me was a great multitude
that no one could count,
from every nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
They were wearing white robes
and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Revelation 7:9 (read 7:9-17) - NIV
The book of Revelation was written to strengthen the
persecuted Christians of that time. It is likely that the author felt cornered
before the merciless persecution of the Roman Empire against the followers of
Jesus. Apparently there were few people who were resisting the pressure to
renounce their faith in Jesus. Christians looked like an "endangered
species". In the middle of the crisis the author had a vision showing that
this was not so. The people of faith actually included an innumerable multitude
of people "from every nation, tribe, people and language." It was a
number greater than anyone could imagine.
Revelation is a book which is very difficult for the
vast majority of Christians of our time to interpret for the simple reason that
they are not a persecuted minority. Rather, in most of the Western world they
are a majority although fragmented into with various groups with rivalries and
different trends. Some of these groups consider themselves to be the true
Christians and do not recognize the legitimacy of the others. Others are more
tolerant, but they do not commune with others. The Book of Revelation does not
address the reality of present day Christianity.
Christianity today has more in common with the ancient
Roman Empire than with the faithful persecuted Christians of the early
centuries of the Christian era. Today "Christian nations” wage war against
other “Christian nations” as well as against non-Christian.
In the absence of persecution, many use the Book of
Revelation as a weapon of attack against each other. They try to identify the
"beast", the "antichrist" and the "false
prophets" and make mutual accusations. They also try to use it to plot future
events is used to try to manipulate their followers into following their
doctrinal line or religious practices.
Even though we have achieved sophisticated technologies,
our world is beyond our control. We have created "monsters" that can
crush us. Our violence is turning against us. Mother Earth is reacting with
environmental changes that are producing droughts, floods, heat and cold waves
and the rising of the oceans.
What would be the message of this book for a dominant,
fragmented and biased Christianity which itself is often a persecutor and to
make it faithful to what Jesus taught? The symbolism of “palm branches in their hands”
represents peace. It would mean the rejection of violence, prejudice and
materialism and trust in the power of love by peaceful living. Only then can we
sow peace, even though it endangers our own lives in the process. Divine action
is much greater than we can imagine. It is not for us to be judges and take
justice into our own hands. It would be by living justice and relying on the
"Lamb" who really reigns despite appearances to the contrary. In that
way we can belong to the hidden crowd who has “palm branches in their hands”
and are sowers of peace.
REVELATION 7:9-17 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
THE GREAT MULTITUDE IN WHITE ROBES
After this I looked, and there before me was a great
multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and
language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing
white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out
in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
All the angels were standing around the throne and
around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces
before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white
robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the
great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb. Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
them with his presence.
‘Never again will they hunger;
will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’