Yes, we look for the rainbow in life because we need to see good. The Book of Revelation brings hope, brings truth to us with its phantasmagorical outlook. Sojourner Truth had it right when she said “God’s people experience trials and tribulations”(pg 10). She insisted he walks on earth with us through them. Not that we would be taken away from them. Read Margaret MacDonald’s words closely. You will see she discusses the fires (trials and troubles) that we go through will be used to purify us, to allow us to be indwelled with the spirit and this is what will cause the temple inside of us to be built. Never once does she say the world is going to have an apocalyptic end and we are all going up in a cloud of glory. She says if we live in Christ then shall we be “caught up in the air to meet him.” I take this to mean when we die and our spirit leaves the body, Christ will be there to catch it and in heaven God will be revealed. You could say she has a little prophecy in her words. She does say the church will go through fire and some will chose to stay with it and others will leave. But haven’t churches throughout history had struggles both with governments and with those who disagree with its teachings? Haven’t congregations always been like tides, ebbing and flowing? Won’t this always be the case? After all we are human. We are inconsistent, temperamental, and even if we are God fearing, we are always God seeking. This is what Revelation is revealing to us all. That no matter what we endure, we still need to hope. Hope keeps us strong in our faith that whatever tribulation we are going through will pass soon. Revelation mentions the tree of life. In Celtic Christianity, this is an emblem of hope and endurance. You can cut a tree down but unless you destroy the roots, the tree still lives. We are trees in God’s earthly garden. We bend, we sometimes break, but we can endure and grow again. The image of the water of life flowing from the throne ( Rev 22:1) reminds us we need this water if we are going to stay in communion with the trinity. Water from God is life giving and we trees need our water. The seven letters to the churches are letters of correction to them. They need to change certain behaviors to remain in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God used John as his mouthpiece, like he had others. If we look at them figuratively, not literally, we can see the same problems exist in churches all over. These letters that John was inspired to write, today can serve as a warning, an answer, a thread of hope, to pastors whose church may be struggling with one of these issues. When John begins his magic carpet ride, he is seeing bowls with troubles pouring out and trumpets, hears songs of praise from angels, sees the emerald city, (sorry wrong book) I mean rainbows, and people dressed in white with gold crowns (white and gold symbolize cleansed and pure). What he is blessed to see is what we all go through in life in a symbolic way. We all have troubles. Yes, sometimes it seems they are being poured upon us. Yet we try to praise Gee beauty in all things. Music stirs us like the trumpets and hymns John heard stirred his soul. What revelation does not reveal is this: It is not the definitive history of how the world will end. It is not a carved in stone tale of end times apocalyptic happenings. It is not showing us escapism prophecy coming true after certain other prophecies are fulfilled. It does tell us we will come up but I take that to mean when our life here is done. It does not tell us to expect to see Jesus coming down on a cloud, sitting on a horse, with open arms summoning us to him while others around us wonder where we went. It does not say we will disappear and only our clothes, dentures, and body implants will be left behind. None of us know anything more of life than this: we eat, we breathe, one day that stops. We will have good days, we will have bad. But if we hold onto hope, cling to faith, and continue to believe in the trinity, then when we are taking our last breathes, we will see Christ coming for our soul with our loved ones who are waiting for us to join them.