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During the Lenten Season, 2013, we had a series of sermons on the intimidating Book of Revelation.  Although this idea initially caused trepidation for some, our interim pastor, Ted, reassured us that there was much good to learn from this daunting book.  During the weeks of Lent, and even on to the end of May, he boldly preached from this text and, true to his word, provided many marvelous insights.

The worship committee had invited Elinor to create banners for this series.  Many images in the book of Revelation are disturbing as well as confusing.  Our hope was that depicting this book positively in some way would help to dispel the uneasiness and allow us to connect to the deeper truths of Jesus rather than focus on the unpleasant and scary parts. This is what Elinor had to say:  “Several times in the past I have created a series of seven banners/posters for Lent [and] I enjoyed making them. The thought of doing this for the book of Revelation, though, immediately felt daunting and difficult. Revelation is not my favorite book, however it does have abundant visual descriptions. Many of them are bizarre—beasts with multiple eyes or seven heads and ten horns. It is a vision after all, full of lots of symbols. I felt quite overwhelmed at even attempting to portray any of it.”

She went on to say, “I sat down to read Revelation, making notes of things 
I could include in banners. Out of these many images and symbols I chose ones that I was attracted to or ones that I thought I might actually be able to draw. Many of the images felt like they were beyond my artistic abilities. The result is a mural of many different symbols and scenes.”   

Elinor made her seven-panel mural into a large scroll, which was unfurled across the front of the meeting room, one panel at a time, over the seven Sundays of Lent.

Each symbol, or scene, has the biblical reference printed on it or near it, so that you can look them up if you wish.  There are also a few symbols or scenes from other books of the Bible which tie in to or are parallel to verses in Revelation.   Elinor did not emphasize the weird beasts and terrifying scenes, although she did include a panel representing the “darker” events described in Revelation.  She also incorporated an image from a poster 
by Pat Marvenko Smith, which shows up near the end of the scroll, with her copyright on it.  Below are images of the separate panels, with their corresponding list of Scripture verses.

This mural blessed each one of us for the four months it hung across the front of our meeting room, inspiring much meditation.  There were so many images to ponder, beautifully portrayed and thoughtfully put together.  It helped to de-mystify the book, motivated us to dig deeper, and instructed us in the beauty, power and hope found in Revelation. Elinor stated, “I hope the mural will help all of us to find positive images tucked away in the book of Revelation among the more startling and bizarre things that are described,” and for all of us, she succeeded.  Thank you, Elinor, for your ministry among us. 

FIRST PANEL

Rev Panel 1-b

The Alpha and Omega – Rev. 1:8
Creation – Gen. 1:1, John 1: 1-3, Rev. 4:11b
The birth of Christ (The Word made Flesh) – John 1:14
Behold he is coming in the clouds – Rev. 1:9
7 Lampstands – Rev. 1:12, 16
7 Stars – Rev. 1: 12, 16
Tree of Life – Gen. 2:9, Rev. 2:7
Behold I stand at the door and knock – Rev. 3:19
John – Rev. 1: 9-10

SECOND PANEL

REV Panel 2

Heaven’s door open – Rev. 4:1
Descending Dove (Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – John 1 29:30)
Lamb that was slain/Emerald Throne – Rev. 4:2-3
-Lion of Judah – Rev. 5: 5
-Lamb Rev. 5:6
24 Elders with Gold crowns – Rev. 4:10-11
Angels circling the throne – Rev. 5: 11-13

THIRD PANEL

REV Panel 3

Sing a New Song – Rev. 5:9, 14:3
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain – Rev. 5:12-13
Harps –  Rev. 5:8, Rev 14:2b-3
Golden Bowls of incense (prayers of the saints) – Rev. 5:8b
Angel with a censer (also prayers of the saints – Rev. 8:3

FOURTH PANEL

REV Panel 4

4 Horses (white, red, black, pale) – Rev. 6:2-7
7 Angels with trumpets – rev. 8: 6 – 11:15
-Eagle (woe) – Rev. 8:13
-Star falling/ key to the Abyss – Rev. 9:1
7 Angels with 7 Golden Bowls (God’s wrath) – Rev. 15:7-8-16:1

FIFTH PANEL

REV Panel 5

Angel with the chain – Rev. 20:1
Angel proclaiming the eternal Gospel – Rev. 14:6, Luke 2:0-10
The Book of Life – Rev. 20:12
The River of Life with 2 Trees of Life – Rev. 22: 1-2, Rev. 22:14
The city – Rev. 22:5
Come all who are thirsty – Rev. 21:6b, Rev. 22: 6

SIXTH PANEL

REV Panel 6

The Triumphal Entry – John 12:12-15
Rider on the white horse – Rev. 19: 11-16
Great Multitude with palm branches –  Rev. 7:9
The Root of David – Rev. 22:16 and Rev. 5:5
The Bright and Morning Star – Rev. 22:16

SEVENTH PANEL

REV Panel 7

7 Blessings – Rev. 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, 14
Communion Symbols – Remember his death until he comes – Luke 22:19-20
Hold on to what you have, I am coming soon – Rev. 2:25,  3:ll
The Alpha and Omega – Rev.  21: 6, 22:16 (and Rev. 5:5)

At the front of our Meeting Room

REV Whole Banner

BLESSINGS from  Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Fellowship

In the little village of Taftsville, Vermont,  anyone out and about early on EASTER MORNING may notice a small cluster of pilgrims silently carrying a large wooden cross up the hillside behind the Chapel.   They may even hear strains of familiar Easter hymns echoing through the valley.

Each Easter morning for nearly 30 years, we have gathered at the Chapel for our sunrise service, or Resurrection Walk. We take turns, usually two at a time, shouldering the heavy cross as we make our way up the road. We stop from time to time to join our voices in song,  to meditate on the scripture story,  and to share the burden of bearing the cross.   It is a quiet and solemn journey, reflecting on our Lord’s burden on our behalf.

As we read of Jesus sealed in the tomb, we reach the end of our walk, and pause. Then, we read of the women on Sunday morning who found the tomb empty, and we turn around to the sunshine.  The  glorious valley opens out before us in the fresh morning light and we joyfully proclaim  “Lift Your Glad Voices!”   He has risen indeed, and we shall not die!  It is a joyful journey back down the hillside,  to enjoy a hearty breakfast and fellowship together, and gather for our regular worship service at 9:30 a.m.

This Easter morning, April 24, we will be leaving the Chapel at 7:00 a.m.  for our traditional Resurrection Walk.   We hope all who are able will join us for this special time together.