Friday 03 August 2012

Bible Book:
Revelation

'Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" (vv. 9-10)

Revelation 7:9-12 Friday 3 August 2012


Background

12-08-03 drawing 6Last weekend we witnessed the openingceremony of the London Olympic Games. Along with the pageantry andspectacle was the moving sight of athletes bearing their nationalflags from virtually every nation in earth entering the OlympicStadium.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games aretwo of the very few moments when people from every nation, tribe,and people gather in a single place. Throughout these Games many ofus will have been supporting Team GB or athletes of some othernationality. (I am rooting for Team GB, but also hoping that theAntigua and Barbuda squad acquit themselves admirably.)

If, like me, you have beenunsuccessful in getting tickets (to anything!), the London Gamesmight be a slightly sore point just at the moment. Moreover, witheverything taking on an Olympic theme you might be forgiven forfeeling that an Olympic take on the text of Revelation is a bitoverstretched.

Nonetheless, I find it difficult toavoid the impression that John's vision in Revelation 7 has aslight feel of the ancient Olympics about it. A great multitude,from every tribe and nation, peoples and language, wearing whiterobes and carrying palm branches? Can you hear the resonances?

However, the shouts of acclamation ofthis multitude are directed not towards all conquering athletes butrather to Almighty God and to the Lamb. In addition to themultitude, the heavenly hosts also offer similar acclamation.

The Book of Revelation constantlyseeks to lift our gaze from earth to heaven. This is not in orderto make us so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.Rather it is an attempt to enable us to see ourselves in the lightof heaven in order that we might gain fresh perspective on ourcurrent situation.

In these few weeks when the worldpauses to celebrate sporting prowess, human endeavour, and theOlympic spirit perhaps it is a good time to pause to think aboutwhat great things we might attempt to the glory of God.


To Ponder 

  • "To the glory of God." We often see these words on cathedralsand other places of worship. What might this mean for the way inwhich you lead your life?
  • The Baptist missionary William Carey put it admirably: "Expectgreat things from God; attempt great things for God". If you wereto attempt something great to the glory of God, what might thatbe?
  • Now that you've identified it, have you good reasons for notattempting it? 

 

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