His throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10

*   *   *

For a moment, I thought we were still in the book of Revelation.

In some ways, I see the Bible as a great workbook – take the whole collection, but feel free to argue with it, to ask “What if instead of X, so-and-so had done Y or Z …” to wonder if so-and-so really did interpret a dream correctly or act rightly … or to even say, “I cannot accept that view and here’s why.” That’s even before we get to the question, “Did it really happen?” Much less, “Did it really happen that way?”

As I look back, I find myself less concerned with historical accuracy and ever more focused on the reported experiences of a lived faith, especially as it strives increasingly toward an alternative society of peace, justice, and equality. Not just a society, at that, but a whole world – one renewed in Universal Love.

Look who sits at the head of the court there, then.

*   *   *

For this I write in the Openings of Life, and from the Motion of the good Spirit of my God, do I declare unto you, viz. That none of ye were absolutely excluded from Eternity; well knowing, that a Measure of his Grace hath been freely tendred to every one of you; because his Love extendeth universally, and he is crying, Ho, every one that thirsteth come ye to the Waters of Life: And he that hath no Money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy Wine and Milk, without Money and without Price. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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