Narrative Lectionary Summer Series 2, 2017 — The Book of Revelation Overview
This day's daily devotion is written by Dr. Kimberly Kace Leetch.
Chapter 5 begins with a scroll that contains God’s plan for the saving of humanity. Such a scroll was bound to be sealed not with one seal of wax, but with seven – a sign that this was a truly important document. Alas, there was no human worthy of opening such a powerful scroll.
But the Lamb of God, (“the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” – Jesus) is, indeed, powerful enough to open the scroll. And more than that – it is the Lamb of God that has made the contents of the scroll a reality. Jesus, because of his sacrifice, has bridged the gap between heaven and earth, and has made God accessible to all. Truly, this is a scene to behold, and an event to sing praises for! “Worthy is the Lamb!” they cry. Once again, hope is offered to a community filled with dread and despair.
Is Christ’s word in your community a word of warning or a word of hope? Does it demand obedience, or does it encourage praise? Consider all the things that are said in your community of faith – the words and the things unspoken. What does your building communicate? Consider the sanctuary and the narthex. Consider the hallways, the restrooms, the offices, and classrooms. Think about the parking lot and the grounds. Consider, too, what is seen and heard in your worship services, of what goes on in the gathering spaces after worship? What do each of these tell others about what goes on there? About who is welcome and who is not? Of how grace is shared? Of where hope is offered?
Does your community express the unconditional and unearned love of a Christ that gave everything for us? Of a lamb who walked willingly into death so that we might live? Do you praise, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”?
Narrative Lectionary Text
The Scroll and the Lamb
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’
Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.’
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!’
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’