I walk outside early in the morning. The air is cool, untouched by sunlight for hours, and as I fill my lungs with it, it refreshes me beyond description. The morning to me never ceases to be a heavenly metaphor for newness and hope… that there are new possibilities with this day, new people to meet, new opportunities to make decisions that ascribe worth to my creator, and new chances to be transformed with ever-increasing glory. I sit down on a chair in my driveway and open the Old Book… the one I’ve had for many years, have read its pages a thousand times, falling apart from the use of a desperate man who is hungry for meaning, and I turn it to an often forgotten and ignored chapter: the last one… a story of a man who had a vision and saw heaven opened up for him and history unfolding before him like an open scroll. He’s a prisoner on an island, and one day is suddenly encountered by a vision of Jesus Christ, but not the compassionate and gentle Christ… this one has a voice like a trumpet and shakes the entire room! His face shines with blazing brilliance … his eyes are like fire, and he is no longer the ‘lamb that was slain’ but is now the Lion of Judah who has come not to die for the world as before, but to judge it. HIs voice booms and he tells the terrified man to pick up his pen and write letters to seven churches. To one of the churches, Jesus tells him to write this:

“those whom I love, I discipline and rebuke.”

The newness and freshness of the morning add to the newness and freshness of these words in my heart as they immediately resonate with my soul and with my situation, and not surprisingly the Old Book has once again left me with hope in the morning.

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