WORSHIP SONG EIGHT (Part 2)
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
Salvation and glory and power to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
he has judged the great whore
who corrupted the earth with her fornication,
and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they said,
The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying,
And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
and all who fear him,
small and great.”
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready;
to her it has been granted to be clothed
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional
READ ALOUD Revelation 19:1-8
Martin Luther said, “There are two days on my calendar, this day and that Day.” By ‘that Day’ Luther meant the day we stand before Christ. Luther purposed to live each day in light of ‘that Day’ he rendered account to Jesus.
As you look at your calendar, what priority do you give to ‘that Day’? How does ‘that Day’ play out in your mind? What will Jesus say to you? What will you say to Jesus?
C. S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, writes about living this day in light of ‘that Day’. Lewis tells about a senior demon, Uncle Screwtape, schooling his nephew Wormwood in the strategies of tempting his human “patient”. Screwtape advises that the “Enemy”, that is, God, wants humans “to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity, itself, and to that point in time they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” Like Luther, Lewis thought we do best to live this day in the light of ‘that Day’. If the present moment counts for only the present moment, then the present moment counts for nothing.
While today’s popular culture does talk a lot about living in the moment, it does not give the reason why. But Lewis explains why: “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” The present moment is the only moment we have and what we do with that moment counts forever. Lewis says that God would therefore have us “continually concerned with eternity…or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present moment.” (The Screwtape Letters) That’s what it means to worship! That’s what it means to see the world in the light of God.
Many people have found that the visions of ‘that Day’ in The Revelation help them live more responsibly in the present moment. The worship songs of The Revelation remind us that this world is not our destination, but our preparation. What we do in this present moment matters to God. God hardwired us for the new world coming. Soon we will be with Him!
In the spring of 1988 I heard in concert the famous folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Toward the end of the concert Paul Stookey sang his obligatory and very popular composition, “The Wedding Song”. But that night Paul added an unexpected and delightful twist to the song. As a self-identified “born again Christian”, Paul said that this often requested song actually spoke of a greater wedding yet to come: the Wedding of the Lamb. Paul said he wanted to make sure everyone was responding to God’s invitation to the Wedding of His Son to His Bride.
Jesus told a parable about the great Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14), and how a king sent out invitations to his son’s wedding. But many people declined the king’s invitation, excusing themselves as being too busy or not interested. So the king sent his servants into the streets, telling them: “invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” (Matthew 22:9). And the servants “went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so that the wedding hall was filled with guests” (Matthew 22:10).
God is inviting both good and bad! That’s the good news of the Gospel, the incredibly gracious news of God for you and me. God wants you there!
READ ALOUD Revelation 19:1-8
HOW TO USE THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
This daily Lenten devotional takes up eight songs of worship from The Revelation. It is significant that this is the only book in the Bible promising a blessing on those who read it, specifically: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy” (Revelation 1:3 NRSV). Each section of this devotional presents a song for your audible reading, reflection and worship. Each day you will:
- PRAY asking God to bless this time you devote to Him
- READ ALOUD the worship song and text for the day
- REFLECT on the daily reading
- READ ALOUD again the worship song and text for the day
- WORSHIP God each day in a way that is meaningful for you. The way in which you worship might vary day to day. Depending on the day, you might choose to talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling about the song, or meditate on the worship song, or intercede for others, or sing, or be silent before God. Ask God to guide you.
We pray that God use these worship songs of The Revelation to reveal His glory to you and bless you as you center your life in Him.