Peeling The Onion: Week 7

Here is the home stretch –

Visions of the fulfillment of the birthing

And of the conflicts

It’s a lot to take on board,



a lake of fire,

City of God,

Edenic Garden regained

What’s your vision of heaven?

Where and when do you locate it?

Who is there, and who is missing?

Is it ultimately boring?

I argue that millennia of people visualized all this,

And however modern rationalists mock them,

The visions offer a shape to hope,

Greater than ‘light at the end of a tunnel’

Let alone resolute nihilism.


Visualize another great angel,

Coming down from the heavens,

To chain and lock Satan, the Devil,

In the bottomless pit,

Unable to continue that reign of terror,

The tribulations evoked earlier in the vision

There is room now for war crimes adjudication,

Of the villains and victims of the terror

By the magistrates of God –

Till the Devil is released again,

Gathering forces from 4 corners,

Gog and Magog,

For a final battle

he will lose

to fire from heaven

then join the beast

and the false prophet,

In the burning lake of fire.

Are we living now before the ‘thousand years’,

During them – or waiting for them to start?

I argue our tradition is a-millennial,

saying ‘yes’ to envision all 3 options!


Today’s vision may seem simpler –

Judgment from a throne, with a book –

But distinguish this vision –

Earth and heavens fled,

Death and Hades into the lake of fire,

But what humans are judged, or not in the book?


Today another vision tempts an easy reduction –

In the new heaven and new earth,

What heaven and earth have passed away,

And what city or garden or river appear,

As the fulfillment – or replacement – in your eyes?

See, it’s not that easy…

Or perhaps it’s too easy,

To simply hurl your selection of enemies into the fire

I don’t think the text does it, at least yet


If you suspended judgment yesterday,

Today an angel whisks you away with John,

To see the city, coming down

Elaborated in urban imagery of walls, homes,

The ultimate reality show of a promised ideal


Perhaps this vision of a river

And of a tree of life,

Appears to you like a park in the city,

The bookend to the Edenic garden

Shall we gather at the river?

How are your images of the fruit and leaves

‘for the healing of the nations’?


Don’t fall down in idolatry

Of the city, the tree, or the angel –

These are signs, invitations to participation,

Bread and roses now,

Not just pie in the sky when you die!


Now what?

Moderns think life’s a problem to be solved –

What if it’s a mystery to be suffered and celebrated?

What will you do with this revelation?

That’s my 500 word quota for today

Enjoy the show through this last week!