I do not like the book of Revelation. I do not like its violence, its vindictiveness, its opaqueness, its psychotic visions, its attitude toward women, its enemy thinking, its dualistic world view, or its vacancy of love. I don’t even like people who like the book of Revelation since many of them use it to justify their crazier ideas about God and then scare other people with what they think they know.
I knew the moment that I heard these opening words to Barbara Brown Taylor’s sermon at Washington National Cathedral that it was going to be a good one. In this sermon, Taylor discusses different views on the stories of Revelation, no holds barred. She discusses how people place more importance on and judge others by “where they are from” or “what they have done in their past.” In other words, so many people place more importance on their “Alpha stories.” Instead, Taylor argues that what is more important is what we choose for our destination…our “Omega stories.”
It was not until I got to work on this sermon that I realized how important our Omega stories are. Not our origin stories, but our destination stories. The ones that tell us who we are by telling us where we are going. These stories may not have the same solidity that our Alpha stories do, at least not at first, because they have not happened yet. Which means that no one can tell us which one is right. All we can do is choose one from the wide variety of end-time stories that the culture offers us daily, and then hope that we’ve chosen wisely, since our Omega stories will have as much or more to do with who we are than our Alpha stories ever do.
Taylor certainly has a way with words. If you are a person who struggles with modern interpretations or emphasis on the book of Revelation, you must listen to Taylor’s sermon.
–From the 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral, November 4, 2012. Click here to view the accompanying service leaflet.