S (Scripture): Revelation 7: 13 Then one of the elders said to me, “Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Then he said to me, “These people have come out of great hardship. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. 15 This is the reason they are before God’s throne. They worship him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. 16 They won’t hunger or thirst anymore. No sun or scorching heat will beat down on them, 17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
O (Observation): The life of the follower of Jesus is like one whose robes have been washed white by Jesus’ sacrifice. The stains on the robes of the person wearing them have been placed there by the fault of the individual, yet Jesus makes them clean. Jesus overcomes the power of sin and death and gathers his followers together. They give him praise and worship Him.
In this scene, Jesus gives life-giving water and wipes away all tears from his followers eyes. They will cry no more. They will thirst no more. All will be well.
A (Application): Hard to see the throne image in the here and now. Life is chaotic and tumultuous. We fear for our safety and our job security and we have a difficult time seeing anything like robes washed in white while signing praises to the Lamb.
We sing words like “Salvation belongs to our God, and to Christ the Lamb, forever and ever,” and “Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.” These images are brought forth through the Scriptures. We give thanks to God for making us whole and judging us with love.
The punishment of sin is sin itself. When we sin, we suffer and those around us suffer, even if we don’t feel it or sense it. Sin separates us from God and one another, and numbs us to that distancing, until somehow (through the Spirit) we awake…to see that while nothing can ever truly separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus…we discover we have been pushing God away.
Texts like today – from Revelation – are a good reminder to us that the end has already been accounted for. Today, we live into the grace freely given to us. We live into the hope that one day, we will all be united, gathered around the throne, singing…giving praise to God.
Embrace that security of the vision of the faithful gathered around the throne this day in the midst of your tumultuous ventures.
P (Prayer): Lord, give us hope that we will see more and better days ahead…if not in this life…then the next. Amen.