Peeling the Onion: Revelation 18:9-24

When the market correction comes – the speculative bubble bursts – who loses most, first? It’s the luxury trade, not the staples. Traders and merchants lose. Value was never inherent,but only ascribed by a warped market. Who will mourn – and who will celebrate –the next correction of our bull markets?

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Peeling the Onion: Revelation 18:1-8

All nations are complicit. Few have clean hands. Politicians choose between bad and worse, politics frames choices of good and better. What lasts, and what is lost?The image of Imelda Marcos shoes,or Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake’ illustrate the oblivion of luxury and indulgence, but of any oblivious rich will do.

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Peeling the Onion: Revelation 17:9-18

If we were John’s contemporary audience, we might decode 10 provinces of the Roman Empire. We might see the famed 7 hills of Rome, the imperial capital located in that city. But in our age, as a-millenialists, for whom this stuff is always and never here and now, what are the tyrants, within what empire – Transnationals in late capitalism? What’s your hierarchy of evil entities? What unholy alliances of ‘-isms’ and ‘-ologies’ do you recognize?

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Peeling the Onion: Revelation 16:12-21

he message of encouragement, and of exhortation, Is not to pick a side as allies for the religious but to clothe oneself in righteousness for the day, Lest we be revealed as naked (go back to the letters to the churches…) Armageddon – but it’s as much a force of nature as a human war – Hailstones the size of humans – destruction of a third of Babylon .The city shaken – but not by insurrection or invasion (unless those are among the tools or weapons of the divine)

Yet the day, and the week ends with people cursing God.

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Peeling the Onion: Revelation 16:1-11

Like a mob of sports fanatics in a winning moment (losing moment for the other side) passing the midpoint of the 7 plagues, with scorching fiery heat as the 4th, and darkness in the kingdom of the beast as the 5th We can associate the loss of an ozone layer, or any climate or ecological disaster – the key again is the response, this time from the suffering supporters of the beast – they curse God, unrepentant, incorrigible, angry, chewing their own tongues. But unable to admit the moral revelation…

Sound like any climate change deniers to you?

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Peeling the Onion: Revelation 14:14-20

This is ‘purple prose’ – or poetry – operatic imagery – culmination of so much Johannine talk: Vine and branches, bear fruit . It sounded so eirenic during growing season. Not so much in the frenzy of harvest!

Despite injustice, we keep getting second chances, and the wicked prosper, and the righteous suffer – That’s the way it is - until it’s not.

Who and what is crushed? What is separated out from what in the winepress of the wrath of God?

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Peeling the Onion: Revelations 14:1-5

For 2,000 years, fetishists have read this perversely, as asexual male celibate virgins and encouraged Christians to abstain in turn.

Could I read it differently? Could pre-medieval celibacy be more sensual, opposed to ‘porneia’, the objectification of humans, but intimate, reverent of the ‘imageo dei’ in women, as the misogynist world is oblivious?

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