Beyond the Lectionary Text: Revelation 22:7-21

by Bill Sytsma

Comments and Observations:

Between the years 2000 and 2015, one of the noticeable trends in television programming was the increasing number of reality shows that featured home remodeling projects.  Each show had its own unique spin on the same theme of renewing an old home or space.  “Trading Spaces” focused on sprucing up a single room over two days.  “Flip or Flop” followed a realtor who would purchase distressed homes, renovate them, and attempt to sell them for a profit.  “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” would send a family away for a week while their team of contractors would take over the house and radically renovate it in a short period of time.  “My Big Family Renovation” was an eight episode series that chronicled the efforts of a family with five children as they moved into a 100-year-old farmhouse and renovated it.

These shows appealed to people with a variety of interests.  If you enjoyed home décor, construction projects, or real estate investment; these types of shows could hold your attention.  These types of shows became so popular, that they became a primary genre that helped establish an entire television network (HGTV).

One of the reasons this type of programming has such a broad appeal is that it creates a sense of the sense of wonder.  As you watch, your eagerness rises as you anticipate seeing the transformation of the old house into something new. You find yourself trying to imagine what the finished product will look like, and you hope that the image in your mind is reasonably close to the actual completed project.  You cannot keep yourself from critiquing the choices of colors or the materials for the flooring.  You imagine the kind of changes you would make if you were in charge of renovating the space.  When the project is completed, you are often surprised, as you realize that you could not have imagined the new space emerging from the space you saw in the opening scenes of the program.

The Vision of Revelation:

Textual Highlights:

Unsettling Vision: