As we contemplate the peace Jesus leaves with us, and the vision of a heavenly city where those who are present have their names written in the book of the Lamb, and the Lamb's name on their own foreheads, I've had this song running through my head.
Like John itself, it's better just heard rather than taken apart. Who is speaking? Us? Jesus? Or does the Advocate herself speak this presence, as the Prayer of the Day puts it, "in all things and above all things"?
Full text is at the link above. Sweet Honey in the Rock does a wonderful rendition
I write your name
On that fruit cut in half, on my bedroom mirror On the empty shell of my bed, on my greedy and affectionate dog On his limp awkward paw, on the springboard of my door On every common object, on the top flame of the fire On my friends' foreheads, on each body I love On every outstretched hand, on absence without loving On loneliness behind bars, on the stairway to heaven On health won back, on danger passed, On baseless hope
I write your name
And by the weight of one word I start my love all over again I was born to know you And call you by your name Peace
If you want really creative exegesis, talk to confirmation students. A couple years ago we were discussing Revelation with the kids I just confirmed this past Sunday. Trying to get at the wrongheadedness of the Left Behind series, I asked if the vision of the new creation in Rev. 21 synched with the violence and destruction usually associated with the rapture.
"Is this about the destruction of the earth?" I asked. "Is it about all of us being whisked away to some heavenly realm nothing like this world?"
They were silent for a minute. Then my most divergent thinker raised his hand.
"Well, the earth can't be destroyed, because then the meek wouldn't have anything to inherit!"
There you go. I've been waiting two years for Revelation and the Beatitudes to appear on the same Sunday. Not sure if I'll use that line, but it's a keeper.