Toorak Uniting Church

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Revelations for Kids

Revelation 1: 1 – 3, 9 – 11   Revelation 21: 1 – 5
Rev. Anneke Oppewal
9:00 am, 8 October 2006


Inspired by "Woord voor Woord" kinderbijbel, by Karel Eykman.

The world not a friendly place, nothing like the world Jesus had been talking about.

*

It was at a time like that when John wrote a letter to his friends.
He wrote: You all know what the world looks like at present, and how difficult things are at the moment. I don’t need to write about that. What I’d like to write about is what could happen, and how the world could still become the world God wants.
Because I got a suspicion that you have lost hope, that you all think that it will never be any different and things will keep going from bad to worse. I feel that some of you might be thinking: There is nothing we can do, it won’t make any difference….. and then stop trying to make a difference and do good.

But I tell you: Something is going to happen, it won’t be easy and will take quite a bit of upheaval and trouble, but if you know what it is going to be like in the end, you’ll be less scared. That’s why I am writing to you, about what I believe will happen, about what I saw in the dreams I believe came from God to tell me something to share with you.

*

In my dream I saw a gate. The gate opened and I went inside.

*

I saw a book, a big fat book. In the book everything was written down, everything that is going to happen. Nobody dared to open the book.

*

Even the most powerful and strongest people in the world could not open the book because they did not have enough courage. Even if they were strong like lions, like bulls, like soldiers, like eagles, they shrunk away from it. Because they were afraid of what the book might say about what would happen to them.

*

There was one man however, a man who wasn’t strong or powerful like all those others, a man who was more like a lamb, small and vulnerable. He wasn’t afraid, he didn’t shrink away, he opened the book and read it without fear. He was Jesus, the man of God.

*

When the book opened I could see the first page and what it was about. There was a huge white horse, a horse that made me think of mighty kings, powerful nations and large palaces.

*

On the second page: A red horse. A horse that reminded me of fighting, of generals and soldiers who use weaponry to stay on top, that horse reminded me of war.

*

The third page: A black horse, immediately following the red and white ones. It made me think of the times when food is getting expensive. It made me think of hunger and of people not being able to afford the basics.

*

On the fourth page, another horse, a dirty, scraggy looking grey horse. A close relative of the black horse: it made me think of the times when starvation comes and people die.

*

Then on the fifth page I saw the people who had tried to do their best. Who had tried to follow Jesus and live by his example. But a lot hadn’t worked out the way they had hoped it would. War and hunger were still happening and they were frightened by it. Bad people were doing bad things, killing people without anybody stopping them, and scaring those who were trying to work towards a better world.
Is it going to go from bad to worse now? They asked. We thought God was going to do something, was going to change things, but we are losing, we are barely keeping it up. How long until God will come and make a difference? How long do we have to wait for a better world?

On the sixth page it said:
Everything will be turned upside down. The moon will turn red, the sun will be darkened. The stars will disappear from the sky, the heavens will move around.
The people who made war will feel embarrassed, the people who caused poverty and hunger will wish the earth would open and gobble them up because they feel so deeply ashamed. But even the earth will not want anything to do with them.

*

One page was left, the seventh page:
There was nothing there, for a long time. And then? Trumpets started to sound from all directions. At last, what God had promised was going to happen! Everything would be allright, everything would be good and wonderful.
That’s why there was music, to celebrate.

Still people were sad, still bad people were in power, but God was making a start and God would win over anything that was bad and wrong. Let the bad people be bad, as long as the good and honest people stay good and honest and keep doing the right thing!

*

Everything that is bad, everything that is horrible, everything that is not the way God would want it, it is like a flying dragon, a beast that can put houses on fire and kills people for nothing.

And I saw the dragon in my dream and I saw a woman running away from the dragon. She tried to flee with her new born child. She fled like the mother of Jesus had to flee when the evil king wanted to kill all the children. This woman found shelter, just in time.

*

Then soldiers came, from God, to fight the dragon. They drove it from the skies to the ground. There the dragon stamped around, kicking up dust, destroying trees, damaging the earth wherever he went.

He nearly caught up with the woman and the child, but God’s soldiers gave her wings and she escaped, just in time. The dragon threw whole rivers at her trying to catch her, but the earth sucked back all the water. Earth didn’t like the dragon.

*

Everybody thought that it would be impossible to get rid of the dragon. But finally a man came, on a white horse. He looked exhausted and his clothes were torn. He was Jesus, who had lived amongst the people. And following behind him were all the soldiers of God. They fought the terrible dragon. And they won. There was nothing left of the dragon in the end. The people were liberated from the evil of the dragon.

Jesus would be king, but in a different way. Different to all the kings and emperors that had gone before him.

*

His message:
You can’t win with mighty horses,

*

God’s heart goes out to people who love him!

*

Everything was renewed. There was a new heaven and a new earth. Heaven felt at home in the world. There was a city where everything was just perfect. The gates were open and everybody was welcome.
Everybody who was sad because they’d been through so much difficulty, everybody was welcome to come and have a good cry and be comforted by God himself. And after that there was no more pain, dying and falling ill didn’t happen any more. Money was no longer needed and if there was any gold around they used it to pave the streets.

*

It was like this:
There was no need for prisons any more, nor for barracks for the military.
Factories were no longer needed or cars.
There weren’t any temples or churches.
Because all of the city was of God.

There were trees along the river, and the water in the river was clear because it was God’s river. There were trees everywhere in flower all the time, renewing themselves constantly and the whole world to see them grow with pleasure.

*

There were musical instruments available on every street corner, piano’s and guitars, for people to make music and dance. Everybody could decorate their streets with joyful colours. In my dream wherever there were children there were parties going on. Perhaps there was a tram, but it was there for fun. No need for the sun anymore, she could have a rest, because it was light anyway.

*

There were processions and everyone was invited to be leader. Old people were resting on park benches, walking stick in hand. They looked at the children, doves, lions, dogs, snakes, they all played together and none of them were afraid any more.
And I knew, when I woke up:
That’s what the city of God will be like, the city where God wants to come and live amongst his people. And that’s what I wanted to share with you, because even if it doesn’t look like it now with all sorts of terrible and sad things happening all around, God has come in Jesus Christ and has made a start with this dream that will come true, eventually, even if it is hard for us to believe now that it ever will.

© Rev. Anneke Oppewal, 2006


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