The book of Revelation delivers messages of judgment, but the passage that we read today offers a vision of peace, not only among humans but for the entire creation.
This peaceful vision involves the voices of ”myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” of angels, “every creature in heaven and earth” joined in song in praise of Christ. It brings to mind images of the peaceable kingdom (see Isaiah 11:1-9), but also adds the element of song.
What would this sound like? During the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, recordings circulated of mass choirs of thousands of voices created virtually through computer technology. If we could add angel and animal voices, perhaps we would have a soundtrack for this passage.
Whatever the sound, all beings gathered together around the throne and the Lamb provide a powerful image. For us Christ is both Lamb and Shepherd. He is the one who suffered and who saves. He is the one who feeds us and invites us to feed others. The extraordinary vision presented in this passage is as inclusive of all creation as any passage in scripture. At a time when earth’s resources and habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate—not as a result of God’s judgment but as a result of human sin and greed—may this vision of all creation praising God inspire us to commit ourselves to the preservation of God’s creation.
May we join our voices with every creature in heaven, on earth and in the sea, proclaiming, “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
We join all beings in a song of praise to you, Creator. Show us how to care for your creation. Amen.
Saul is one of the primary obstacles to the early spread of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus does not fit his paradigm for the Messiah, so it cannot be true. It takes a miraculous intervention by Christ himself to change his mind. Psalm 30 reminds us that the light will always chase the darkness. We experience true suffering and true loss, but God can turn our mourning into dancing in God’s own timing. In Revelation, John takes us to the throne room of God, where angels and creatures proclaim the glory of the Lamb of God who has defeated death and reigns forever. Returning to the Gospel of John, we read more about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, which here include a seaside breakfast and a quiz for Peter.
Read Acts 9:1-20. Jesus’ resurrection calls us to an embodied faith. How do you bear the gospel?
Read Psalm 30. Recall a specific time when you depended on God.
Read Revelation 5:11-14. Have you ever worshiped the Lamb with your whole body? What keeps you from falling down to worship God?
Read John 21:1-19. The author reminds us that Jesus calls us to be shepherds and sheep. Which role do you most often fill? How can you take on a new leadership role or allow others to lead you?
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