TUMI Sacred Roots Annual 2017 - 2018: Every Eye Shall See Him

2017 2018 theme slide b widescreen 400The vision of the apostle John has forever been gifted to the church of our Lord in his writings on the Apocalypse, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. At the start of his amazing book, the reader is challenged to look to the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, making his own a kingdom of priests to his God and Father. The visionary exhorts the read to be aware of the coming of the Lord. “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Rev. 1:7 [ESV]). This remarkable appearing of our Lord Jesus will be his second coming, a glorious manifestation of his glory, visible to the nations, coming in the clouds of heaven (cf. Acts 1.9-11). Although the actual people who crucified our Lord have been dead for millennia, the heirs of these executioners will see him, the very one that they had pierced. This is the coming of the risen Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah rejected by Israel, now returned to reign as Lord!

We took our title for this annual directly from this text: the coming of our Lord will be immediately visible to the nations of the world. While his coming as a babe at Bethlehem was only made known to the shepherds and magi, his second appearing will be visible to the entire earth. This is certain. All the “tribes of the earth will wail on account of him” (Rev. 1.7). At the end of this amazing claim, John says “Even so, Amen.” So be it. Verse 8 then affirms that the One to come is none other than the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (cf. 4.8; 11.17). Jesus is the Lord, the all powerful one, the “pantokrator” which is used 10 instances in the New Testament (cf. 4:8; 11:17), the Almighty. The Greek word for "Almighty" is pantokrator, "the all-powerful One." It is used 10 times in the New Testament, 9 of them in Revelation (2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22). The Savior comes in the clouds of heaven, visible to every eye, ready to consummate his work for his Father!

 

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ: A Study in Revelation

As we usually do in our Church Year spiritual formation exercises, we will spend the entirety of our Ordinary time in focusing on the return of Christ, studying through the book of Revelation. We also will read texts which speak directly to both the intermediate state (i.e., the time period between the death of a believer and their glorification), as well as our eternal status with God in heaven. We hope to immerse ourselves with the images, stories, metaphors, and Scriptures which speak to the believer’s blessed hope of the appearing of Christ, and the implications that appearing has for our everyday lives and witness. Beginning with Ordinary Time and the Season after Pentecost, we will explore the “mother tongue of the ancient Church,” the stirring language of apocalyptic literature in Revelation.

Below you will find the outline for our study of Revelation, in the order of appearance of each chapter, with a brief description. We commence this study after the celebration of Trinity Sunday.

1. Introduction: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ, 1 Thess. 4.13-182. Prologue and First Vision, Revelation 1
3. Letters to the Seven Churches, Part 1, Revelation 2
4. Letters to the Seven Churches, Part 2, Revelation 3
2017 2018 theme slide 4 3 4005. The Heavenly Throne, Revelation 4
6. The Sealed Book, Revelation 5
7. The Six Seals, Revelation 6
8. The Two Multitudes, Revelation 7
9. The Seventh Seal and the Six Trumpets, Revelation 8
10. The Six Trumpets, Revelation 9
11. The Angel and the Little Scroll, Revelation 10
12. The Measuring of the Temple and the Two Witnesses, Revelation 11
13. The Dragon, the Woman, and Her Seed, Revelation 12
14. The Two Beasts, Revelation 13
15. Visions of Assurance, Revelation 14 
16. Preparation for the Bowls, Revelation 15
17. The Seven Bowls, Revelation 16
18. The Mystery of Babylon, Revelation 17
19. The Judgment of Babylon, Revelation 18
20. The Coming of Christ, Revelation 19
21. The Messianic Triumph, Revelation 20
22. The Consummation, Revelation 21
23. Behold I am Coming Soon, Revelation 22
24. Epilogue: Stay Awake! Mark 13.32-37

Our survey of this literature, along with our reading of the selected texts on the Bible and the future, promises to teach us much regarding the return of Christ, and our future inheritance as the children of God.

Complimentary Theme Book Reading

Our reading materials this liturgical year will allow us to long ponder and study the nature of the Second Coming, and even the blessed state of the glorified in the Kingdom of our Lord.  These books are both intellectually rigorous and spiritually inspiring, and should provoke great reflection and meditation as you dialogue with others regarding the nature of our Lord’s return.  

reading text image

Of course, countless excellent texts have been written on the subject of Christ’s return, and so we sought to select texts that 1) cover the doctrinal aspects thoroughly, even if written in the somewhat dry theological language of the seminary and 2) pastoral homiletical accounts that stir our hearts with the prospect of being in the presence of Christ and his saints in the new world to come. The texts we selected will expose you to the both theological and spiritual gems for both the mind and the heart. Please join us in reading these classic texts that inform and persuade us of the importance of Christ’s second coming, and its meaning for our lives today.

  • Alcorn, Randy. Heaven. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2004.
  • Sproul, R. C. The Last Days According to Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998.
  • Ladd, George Eldon. A Commentary of the Revelation of John. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972.
  • Lutzer, Erwin. One Minute After You Die. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2015.

2017-2018 Annual Theme Resources

2017 18 annual 600The Sacred Roots Annual 2017-2018: Every Eye Shall See Him
The vision of the apostle John has forever been gifted to the church of our Lord in his writings on the Apocalypse, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. At the start of his amazing book, the reader is challenged to look to the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, making his own a kingdom of priests to his God and Father.

The visionary exhorts the read to be aware of the coming of the Lord. “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Rev. 1:7 [ESV]). This remarkable appearing of our Lord Jesus will be his second coming, a glorious manifestation of his glory, visible to the nations, coming in the clouds of heaven (cf. Acts 1.9-11). Although the actual people who crucified our Lord have been dead for millennia, the heirs of these executioners will see him, the very one that they had pierced. This is the coming of the risen Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah rejected by Israel, now returned to reign as Lord!

Our Sacred Roots Annual for 2017-18 is entitled “Every Eye Shall See Him” (Rev. 1.7, KJV). Our cover depicts in imaginary vision our Lord’s majestic return to all the earth. We will ponder the book of Revelation during Ordinary Time, exploring together the prospect of the Second Coming (Parousia) of Christ. Please join us as we reflect on Jesus second advent and its implications for us as we watch and wait for his return.  Our Annual is available in the following formats:

2017 18 calendar cover 6002017-18 Church Year Calendar: Every Eye Shall See Him
Believers of every age have treasured the appearing of our Lord at his second coming as the blessed hope of our lives for which we wait and labor. The teaching of Christ’s return lay at the foundation of all apostolic preaching, and now will this calendar’s focus and meditation. Our 2017-18 Church Year calendar, Every Eye Shall See Him captures in imaginative vision that moment when Jesus of Nazareth, risen and glorified, shall return to deliver the world us from Satan’s tyranny and sin’s bondage, and usher in the triumph of God, restoring all things, under God’s reign.

The 2017-18 calendar follows the traditional feast days and celebrations, from Advent to the Reign of Christ the King, along with the weekly texts of the Revised Common Lectionary Year B. Come, be inspired as we wait in hopeful longing for the appearing of our Lord Jesus, who will return to this world to restore creation, under God’s rule.

2017 18 reading guide open 600The 2017-18 Chronological Reading Guide
Each year we read through the Scriptures together chronologically, seeking to gain greater insight on the entire Story of God as it occurred in historical order of events. In this guide we read through the narrative of the Bible as well as highlight in attractive colors the emphases of the Church Year's time schedule. Reading through the Scriptures in the order the events happened helps us stay on point regarding the true subject matter and theme of the Scriptures: the salvation of God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. This reading not only provides richer insight into the events of Scripture, it also helps us greatly to better comprehend the meaning of the whole story of God's wondrous salvation and grace, which climaxes in the Christ event, his death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and return.

Living an Integrated Spirituality: The Power of Thematic Focus

One of the great problems in our contemporary spiritual formation is the sheer number of diverse, non-integrated ideas, resources, and themes in the ongoing lives of Christian communities today.  It is easy to get lost amid the hundreds of ideas and topics covered within a calendar year: weekly homilies, Sunday School units, small group series, pastoral preaching topics, personal devotional guides, and media posts (to name a few).  This patchwork of disconnected approaches and ideas rubs against our natural disposition to focus on an idea, one big, integrated idea for an extended period of time.  For those of us who see Christ Jesus as the source and center of the Christian experience, this recurring focus on dozens of disconnected ideas sabotages effective, biblical spiritual formation.
 
The anthropological response to this whole phenomenon is for us to learn to focus on a single, big, integrated idea.  The key to character and discipline is focused attention, effort, and energy. Whatever subjects or directions upon which we concentrate our energies and efforts in a deliberate and disciplined manner, we grow and deepen. To use an analogy, honey is gathered by the bee, who draws out of a single blossom all the sweet nectars which it has to offer. The butterfly, however, which flits around from bush to bush and plant to plant, may cover ground but gathers nothing sweet. In all things spiritual, we ought to strive to be like the bee and not the butterfly!  It is both bad pedagogy and ineffective pastoral strategy to give people dozens of unique, disconnected themes per year to think about and apply.
 
Perhaps the greatest disadvantage these multiple themes produce in our lives is the lack of connection we find with others with whom we share a spiritual walk and journey.  If it were possible for a community to share the same spiritual ideas, themes, and resources together for, say, an entire year, their ability to share a spiritual journey would be multiplied exponentially.  The same prayers, readings, memorization, dialogues, disciplines, and experiences could enhance our ability to share a spiritual vision and journey together.  The same theme could fund a shared spirituality.
 
For years now, the faculty and staff of the Institute have shared spirituality, i.e., we have communally embraced a common theme and focus around which we organize our efforts and energies for the sake of our growth and maturity.  We share the same resources in similar disciplines on a mutually-committed theme.  Through that theme we integrate our devotions, preachings, lectures, worship liturgies, book readings, and spiritual exercises for and entire Church Year.  The theme becomes our touchstone, the one centralizing element from which all our shared spiritual pursuits emerge, the starting line for the specific missional projects and events that we sponsor and host.  The resource which explains that annual theme we call our "TUMI Sacred Roots Annual," a simple name we give to the overarching concept that will shape and give substance to our personal and corporate practice of the spiritual disciplines.
 
Of course, this annual emphasis is not based on the calendar year (i.e., from January to December), but the Christian Year (from the celebration of Advent around December to the Season after Pentecost at the end of the next year's November). As followers of Christ, we without fail focus the first part of every Church Year on the Story of God in Jesus Christ through the Cycles of Light (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany) and Life (Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Season after Pentecost).  Then, during the extended period of Ordinary Time in the Season after Pentecost, we drill down into our theme for the year, which the Annual is named for, year by year.  Starting on the week after Trinity Sunday, we concentrate our meditation, reflections, readings, study, and dialogue on the theme that we have chosen, and integrate that focus into our book readings, bible homilies, small group dialogues, and spiritual disciplines for the majority remainder of the Church Year. 
 
This dual focus allows us to stay in sync with the Church Year celebrations of the assemblies of Christ throughout the world, of whatever tradition, who are formed by the rehearsal and reenactment of the Jesus story in the major seasons of the Church Year.  Still, with the nearly 27-30 weeks of Ordinary Time that follows, we can center on a single theme that provides us with a cache of common spiritual resources and a common journey, permitting us to concentrate on an idea we are passionate about and eager to grow in. 
 
The power of thematic focus touches every dimension of our lives.  We are reading the same books, hearing the same sermons (all on a single idea), engaging in small group dialogue where the theme is dissected and explored, all for the purpose of being enriched in a theme that means much to us, and that we believe God wants us to be deepened within.  This focused approach is definitely more spiritually vital than the current practice of jumping from theme to theme, idea to idea, in every spiritual meeting and encounter we have.
 
It is our conviction that God can deepen us in a single spiritual concept for an entire year, with focused disciplined study and reflection for most of it.  As you participate in this shared spirituality, we trust that you will find, as we have, that centering your lives together around a shared theme for the entire journey of the Church Year can help your family and community center down, grow deeper, and enrich you around a significant biblical theme that the Spirit wishes you to know, feel, and experience together.