Going Deeper 5-9-19

The second reading for Easter 4...
Revelation 7:9-17   After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.  They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!  Amen."  Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?"  I said to him, "Sir, you are the one that knows."  Then he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

There is a lot of gloom and doom throughout the book out Revelation.  This makes sense when we recall that it was written for people experiencing-- or about to experience-- a whole lot of gloom and doom n the form of great persecution.  Because of their faith, people were facing torture, burning, crucifixions, and being eaten alive by beasts.  

The "great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages" that were gathered in a place of supernatural beauty to worship Jesus, the Lamb of God whose blood had redeemed them, were filled with so much love and gratitude that "they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God."  Love and gratitude must forever be what moves God's people to worship and praise.

Love and gratitude must also be what moves God's children to service.  During our lives here on this still deeply broken planet it is necessary we understand that when the worship is over, the service begins.  God certainly deserves and delights in our worship and praise, but His calling upon our lives is to follow the example of Jesus, loving and serving God through our loving service of others.

When we express our love for God through active service to others we are providing a witness that may very well be used by God to add to the great multitude.  The conditions are certainly different in most cases than at the time of the writing of the Revelation, but too many of God's children are undergoing a "great ordeal" of their own.  Our task is to bring them the Gospel of peace and hope.

With You in His Service,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."