While We Wait (By Jake Hunsicker)

This past weekend at PHBC we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the joy we have in salvation through him.
So, what now?
I often ponder this question as we live anxiously between the resurrection of Jesus and the promised second coming.
Ultimately, I’m reminded that the resurrection points us toward the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem creation. The book of Revelation is an obvious place to look when we seek instruction for living as we await the return of Christ, but what does it actually mean to us?
As a graduate student studying theology and worship, I enjoy biblical study that forms us in our living, and I hope to share some encouraging thoughts for us.
The book of Revelation has many great themes including instructions for living. These dos and don’ts are also heavily related to how we worship.  The Greek word proskynein is used 24 times in the text from Revelation and is a common worship term meaning to fall at or before the knees.[1] Clearly, Revelation is a lot about worship.
Part of the vision from Revelation describes the end of days with visuals of devastation, idolatry, deliberate actions of turning from God, and worshiping falsely (Revelation 9).[2] While there are many principles to pull from varying interpretations, one concept I believe is crucial for us is the cognizant action to choose God.
The vision given to John happened at a time when false worship was infiltrating the early churches and is certainly paralleled for us today. The early leaders of the church were surrounded by the common practice of worshiping political leaders and were tasked with teaching against such an unholy practice.
While we don’t see the same explicit practice of worshiping our politicians today, perhaps we are letting our minds swear allegiance to earthly constructs in a manner which detracts from our full commitment to God. In Revelation it is clearly seen that we are called to be fully devoted to God and to push against idolizing the stuff of earth.
Aside from the instruction to persistently chose God over everything else, we are called to a deeper from of service to God, which is seen in the beginning of Revelation.[3] “To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
This call for priestly service reinforces the teaching throughout the New Testament which exhorts believers to be living a worshipful life through all actions and aspects of life (Romans 12:1). Peter writes about this calling to priestly service for us as believers. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
This instruction encourages us to realize the role we have been placed in through the kingdom of God. We are given a divine assignment to reflect the character of God and to proclaim his worthiness through our actions as a living testimony.
To answer the question I posed previously, I believe there are two significant things we are to do as a response to the resurrection and as we live anticipating the return of Christ.
First, we are to evaluate if our actions and decisions further our pursuit of the triune God. Minor decisions or actions that reject God, even without our intention, gradually push us to an unhealthy place, and it must be combated brutally within our spiritual lives.  
Second, we are to live a life of priestly service which honors and glorifies God in and through all things. This past Sunday we sang the lyrics, “You are worthy of it all. You are worthy of it all. For from you are all things, and to you are all things. You deserve the glory.”[4]
May those words form us to fulfill the words of Revelation so we may live a life pleasing to God as we await the return of Christ.

[1] David Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 261.

[2] New Revised Standard Version.

[3] Peterson, Engaging with God, 267, 268.

[4] Brymer, Onething. Magnificent Obsession (Live). Common Hymnal Publishing, Innerland, Underground Treasure, Wayfinder Music. 2012.