“What did I miss?” We scarcely need ask this anymore. Modern life comes with a pause button. In a digital world can put all our stories on hold while we attend to the tyranny of the urgent. But ‘back in the day,’ you only had one shot to catch the latest episode of your favorite story. If you missed it, you missed it.
Such was my lament over Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It aired only once a year – the first Sunday of December at 8 pm. There were no video tapes, no streaming video, no second chances. If you missed it, you missed it. And while my father was not completely opposed to me watching it on a Sunday evening, the problem was – we were never home. Sunday evening was a time for “Training Union” (i.e. discipleship) and evening worship. The service ended at 7:00 pm, the church was 32 minutes from home.
Allowing for modest post worship conversation, getting home in time was always technically doable, but we made it. Invariably, my father would have deacon’s meeting, or a visitor would appear and my parents would engage in lengthy ‘get-to-know-you’ conversation. Of course, my parents had chosen the ‘better things.’ Looking back, the claymation of Rudolf was sub-par, the story’s ideology reprehensible, and the once-venerable Santa recast as a selfish, unrepentant bigot. But at the time, watching Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman were required to fulfill all righteousness at the festive season. I was an adult before I saw the opening sequences.
Perhaps, in retrospect, it is better that I missed Rudolf and got to see my father’s service and hospitality! Sometimes it is better to miss something than make it. Robert Corrigan of Clam Point, Massachusetts discovered this when he overslept and missed his flight to LA. He arrived at the departure gate just as his plane was pushing back. An hour later, he was still at the airport, waiting for a standby flight, when he saw the news that his flight, United #175, had crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Missing that flight saved his life.
Revelation 15 unfolds the final chapter of the drama of redemption. Seals have revealed God’s judgements and Trumpets have announced them. All men deserve these judgements. But a great and marvelous sign appears, a woman from whom would come a redeemer, a Lamb, slain, who saves and seals his own with the seal of the living God, the Holy Spirit. Every last sealed saint is brought safely to salvation. Despite the fury of the dragon and his beasts, nothing overcomes them. They are the overcomers. The final judgements of God are about to be poured out. With them, the wrath of God is finished. But like the Israelites of Goshen, those who belong to the Lamb miss these terrible plagues.
Revelation 15 begins with a great contrast. The saved and sealed sing of the mercy and grace of God, even as a righteous and holy God sets the stage for His wrath to be poured out against a warned world. Scripture says that we are all, by nature, children of wrath. But only through faith in Christ, will we become children of the King and escape from the wrath to come. What about you? Are you still a child of wrath? Are these terrible bowls in your future? Or will you miss out – miss out on unrepentance, on wrath, on judgement, and on eternal death. Some things are better to miss. Join us this Lord’s Day as we examine Revelation 15:1-8 and consider the great joy of missing out on the righteous and holy judgement of God.
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm at The Arkansas DreamCenter at 1116 Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.