The end of the New Testament begins a new song. Amid the letters, visions, beasts, and riddles of Revelation are these spoken verses set to music over the centuries. They are choruses that praise a slaughtered Lamb, the center of John’s “dream,” who rises victorious over all kingdoms and powers in heaven and on earth.
Think about the largest choir you’ve ever seen. How many people stood on those risers or lined those pews? How many voices did you hear? Sometimes even a small group of people can create a sound much bigger than what the eye can see. Now imagine that choir growing exponentially as more voices join in. The “choir” of Revelation is grander than anything we can imagine: “They numbered in the millions—thousands upon thousands” (ceb). That’s only the census of those around the throne of God. Add to their count every being from the story of creation in Genesis—the swoosh of every fish, the whistle of every leaf, the howl of every wolf, the voice of every person—all created by God. The cosmos can’t contain that splendor.
No matter how great the numbers, John describes hearing all these individuals as “a loud voice” (ceb)—one single, united sound. Every rustle and roar unite in words of worship. With so many denominations, traditions, theologies, and divisions in the church, we long for unity. On what can we agree when we face so much disagreement? From this passage, we can discern two truths. To God belongs all power. To the Lamb who laid down his life as a sacrifice belongs all worship.
Unity does not mean that every voice is identical. John celebrates diversity around the throne and on the earth. Unity arises from hearts, eyes, and ears fixed on Jesus Christ—the center of all worship.
Lamb of God, tune my voice to be part of your song. Amen.