"Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.' Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
"Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!' The four living creatures said, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped."
"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: 'Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!'"
This may be the best post I've ever put up, simply because it's going to include very few words from me and already has a lot of Bible in it. There's a worship song that's pretty popular in churches right now called "Revelation Song." I've been hearing it a lot for the past several months, and I really like it. A lot of the words are straight out of the passages above, and it very much has a "throne room" feel to it. It's good.
I think there's something really cool about the church singing praises to God together. I understand that worship is a much bigger concept than singing songs at church, but I still think that singing songs is an important part of it, and when I use the word "worship" here, that'll be what I'm talking about. But anyway, communal worship is an incredible thing. The various members of Christ's body coming together to amplify the sound of adoration to him. And of course, we experience this in a limited sense now. Most churches are small, only a couple hundred people or less. Even the biggest churches aren't more than fifteen or twenty thousand. But then we look at Revelation, where all the church is gathered around Christ in worship, and it's absolutely mind-blowing.
During worship at church a few weeks ago, we were singing "Revelation Song," and I thought for a moment just about all the people that I've been fortunate to have worshipped alongside in my life. The guys from my floor as we sit behind the deaf ministry students in chapel. Homeless guys in Atlanta. A hundred sugar-charged sixth graders in Indiana. My friends in California. Villagers spouting off Spanish in Honduras. My mother and grandmother. The old ladies at my home church. And one day, all of us will be back together, shouting and singing and dancing for God. And people won't complain about style or instruments, because all of the focus will be on Christ, who will have overthrown Satan and ransomed his people and is ruling the universe. And all the problems and hurts and crap that I deal with now will no longer press on my mind, but as the hymn says, "And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace." That's something worth looking forward to, I think.
That's it for tonight. No criticisms or sarcastic remarks or urges for you to change something. Just something I'm excited about, and that I hope you are too.
I preached at my home church last week. The audio from it is up online if you care to hear the voice that unfortunately accompanies my typing: www.tccchurch.org/sermons.html.