The power of imagery
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war." Revelation 19.11
Advent is about preparing to celebrate Jesus' first coming while looking forward to his coming again. In his Revelation, John anticipates and explores that prospect through the vision from God which he shares. This vision is replete with images. These are necessary because they convey what would be impossible to express through normal language. It is the occasion when everything will be put right: evil will be exposed and judged; righteousness will be rewarded.
Salvation comes with judgment. Evil is personified as a prostitute, who corrupts God's good gifts and tempts those who should know better to indulge in her false promises. Jesus appears as a child, who escapes the clutches of the beast with his mother, as a lion who triumphs over evil, as a lamb whose humble obedience qualifies him as the ultimate sacrifice for sin and as the fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy of the "one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven..." (Daniel 7.13)
Revelation provokes us into deciding where we fit in: are we among the adulterers, who sell our souls for the gratification of our bodies, or shall we take our place with those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb? The consequences are eternal. For those who choose the latter, our invitation to the wedding feast of the Lord outweighs any mountain of Christmas cards. Because not only as we invited, we are the bride!