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The old revelations are dead. If there is a God, if It wishes to be known, It must give us a new revelation. There must be APOKALYPSIS, Unveiling of the Mystery.

Which is exactly what is happening.

Have you ever read Genesis and wonder what methods of evil those of Noah’s time must have practiced, to draw such wrath? Have you ever read Revelation and wondered what new ways of sin must be discovered, to draw a contrast with all the horrors of human history?

Well, guess what–you’re living it! The past century has been that laboratory of evil. The Holocaust, the Gulag, the Cultural Revolution, the world wars and the ravaging of nature, the grasp on the hilt of the nuclear sword–this is it. These are the abominations that herald a new message from God, come in wrath.

The Unprecedented Era is the Apocalypse, the Unveiling. The powers of God and Devil have been placed in the hands of humanity, and we tremble at the opportunity. God has hidden His Face on purpose, to test us. From this trial will burst forth fearsome equations, the final Knowledge. We live in the End Times. We are the End, each of us. We live the End. We plunge forth towards our Ordeal, our Harrowing.

(And the wonderful thing is that this works in both religious and secular sense. In the religious, if there is a cosmic truth, it will be revealed. In the secular, if there is no cosmic truth, it will be found anyway. Some system will be proclaimed as truth.)

I guess part of the reason I’m a theist is that I think the people I know are so wonderful they deserve to have a God to witness them. And if they are so wonderful, it can be reasonably extrapolated that all people are so wonderful. And if all people are so wonderful, then how much greater is the God who made them in His image?

(This is not intended to be a statement of Quineite-severe logic, just so we’re clear.)

 

So this morning I preached my first sermon. To be able to preach was a great blessing to me, and I hope my words, by God’s grace, were a blessing to others.

Texts:
Romans 16:1-16
Acts 20:36-38 and 21:1

Brothers and sisters, today, for the first time, I step into a Methodist pulpit to preach, as did my father and grandfather before me. I am the product of two generations of Methodist ministers. Which means I have seen a lot of moving.

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God loves us, more than any human we can ever know.
God does not give the tiniest shit about us.

But make no mistake.

God is the Ancient of Days, gray-haired and venerable. God is not the Ancient of Days.
God is the Law, the Logos, the dharma. God is not the Law, the Logos, the dharma.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.” So shall we tour all these mansions, guided by our brother and friend Yeshua. Without his guidance we would be eaten by the worms outside. We cannot imagine what shall come at the end of the tour. Mansion after mansion, further up and further in.

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Then the stars resolved themselves in petal, titanic petals, and I realized that the world was contained within a flower. But what kind of flower I could not tell.

“A tulip,” the angel told me. “For the tulip is a chalice and the world is properly contained within that chalice.”

And I saw then that the angel’s head was itself a tulip, of red petals tipped with orange. Whereupon the angel seized me and carried me aloft, higher than I could think.

Looking down, I could see great fields of tulips, graduating in color, blue to violet to black to red to orange and back again, stretching into infinity, the fields gridded and bounded by canals.

“These are the fields of God, and all of this is by and for God’s glory,” said the angel, holding me aloft over the uncountable worlds. As we flew ever higher, the angel’s grip began to slacken, as we grew closer to the Gardener of that place, down to the very tips of angelic fingers, until ultimately I began to fall, towards the infinity of tulips, feeling my own limbs become a stalk and my head petals. Whereupon I continued to fall.

Theologically speaking, Christmas is a celebration of the Doctrine of the Incarnation. See that “carn-” in there? It’s the same root as in “carnivore.” Meat. Today is about meat.

Jesus had a placenta, a big, red, dripping hunk of placenta. He had meconium, the dark, extremely sticky (though thankfully odorless) feces that results from ingested amniotic fluid in the womb. He grew. He ate. He got sick. He walked. When Christians say “the body of our Lord Jesus Christ” in Communion, we’re talking about mucous, blood, spit, semen, piss and shit.

God, in the person of Jesus Christ, has joined us here in the dirt. He has come to eat his own dog food and walk among us. God is meat. This is the core of the Christian revelation. Glory be to God.

Have a meaty, bloody Christmas. May it ooze and spew. And, as the hippies used to say, may the Baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind.