Introduction

Part Two

Spiritual Reflection Using the Illustrations

The illustrations are now offered to a wider audience, together with brief suggestions for reflecting on each one. It is hoped that this visual presentation will facilitate a more personal and experiential engagement with the message of this enigmatic book. It is also hoped these illustrations will speak to the viewer of the power and purposes of the risen Christ in his or her life and times.

The comments offered on these illustrations are to be read as suggestive rather than definitive, there simply to 'prime the pump' for your own thoughts. After all, spiritually speaking, the smallest church is the individual heart, mind and life. The Book of Revelation describes a message to the churches, one that points the way to a brighter future.

It is suggested that if a particular illustration especially captures your attention, you might spend some time reflecting on it. For example, is there any way in which the illustration brings to mind anything that has personal relevance for you spiritually? You may find that the accompanying notes help you here.

 

 

Note on the Biblical Background

This last book is a Biblical example of Jewish apocalyptic writing. The latter uses dramatic images and metaphor to describe the trials of the 'last times', so John describes himself as "a companion in tribulation" (Revelation 1:9). Apocalyptic writers encouraged their readers to see a time of struggle and hardship as a final bridge over which the Divine would lead them to a far better future. They encouraged 'the faithful', and by extension what is loving and faithful in us, to grasp that, through Divine intervention, all will end in triumph.

From the perspective of our individual spiritual development, we are being challenged to look more deeply at what needs to be overcome in us, even to re-examine the basis of our spiritual values. Ultimately, the purpose of all revelation is to encourage us to discover the true purpose of our existence through a fuller and deeper connection with its Divine source.