“. . .and whosoever was not found written into the book of life was cast into the lake of fire…” — Revelations 20:15
This was the theme of the sermon I delivered off the 20th-floor balcony of the Hyatt Regency in Houston on the morning of Super Bowl VIII. It was just before dawn, as I recall, when the urge to speak came on me. Earlier that day I had found — on the tile floor of the Men’s Room on the hotel mezzanine — a religious comic book titled “A Demon’s Nightmare,” and it was from the text of this sleazy tract that I chose the words of my sermon.
The Houston Hyatt Regency — like others designed by architect John Portman in Atlanta and San Francisco — is a stack of 1000 rooms, built around a vast lobby at least 30 stories high, with a revolving “spindletop” bar on the roof. The whole center of the building is a tower of acoustical space. You can walk out of any room and look over the indoor balcony (20 floors down, in my case) at the palm-shrouded, wood and naugahyde maze of the bar/lounge on the lobby floor.
Closing time in Houston is 2:00 AM. There are after-hours bars, but the Hyatt Regency is not one of them. So — when I was seized by the urge to deliver my sermon at dawn — there were only about 20 ant-sized people moving around in the lobby far below.