The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation, like all of scripture, is a blessing to those who read it aloud and to those who hear it and take it to heart. Long before digital media and printing presses, scripture was read in community. No one had personal copies to read whenever they wanted. Someone would read aloud while the rest of the community listened. There is great value in reading scripture in community, especially a text like Revelation in all of its vivid language and imagery. It’s important for us to be readers and hearers of God’s word as we are reminded that this revelation is from Jesus Christ. No one other than the one who is, and who was, and who is to come, is the source of this revelation. This revelation is for the church as she lives in a world that is hostile towards the truth of God and the great commission he has for his people. Revelation is a final word of victory and judgment over all creation. This is a word aligned with last words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).” There will be a reckoning for all things seen and unseen. And the presence and power of God will make all things right.
What difference do you notice in reading this aloud versus reading it quietly? Is your attention drawn to different parts in the different readings? Is there someone you can read this aloud with? What does this passage say to you about God’s nature?
Holy God, we feel the world is broken. We feel the shadows deepen. But we know that all the dark won’t stop your light from getting through. We long for the day when we will see all of creation made new. Come Holy Spirit. Amen
Please enjoy this song as it’s our prayer for the week.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.