The letter that vividly describes a violent and final end for so many begins rather nicely for the seven churches. Of course this good beginning was written to seven churches facing an even more imminent end themselves. That is helpful to remember because I don’t think we can fully comprehend what the word from the One who is and was and is to come meant to the rightful recipients of John’s letter. I think I know what we've done with it and even though the best selling series Left Behind was red hot for a while I think God might put it in the lukewarm category. So how do we hear a word for us even though it is clearly addressed to them? First of all one does not need to be persecuted or enslaved by temporal powers in order to desire freedom. We are all in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. And while some may face a more imminent end all of us face an inevitable one and can find comfort that the first born from the dead opens a way for those who will follow. And finally the promise of Jesus’ coming on the clouds, whether one wails or not, is a promise that the world as we know it will come to an end. And maybe that is the best news of all.