Assignment: Reflections and Impressions of Revelation
Written from the Perspective of an Original Recipient
As an original recipient of the letter of Revelation, the words of this book overwhelm me. These words have been addressed to me and my church family, and they come to us from Jesus Christ himself, delivered through a man who was a close friend and confidant of our Savior throughout his life on earth. It is a painful but beautiful reality; to think that the Alpha and Omega—the one who is the beginning and the end—knows us and sees our lives so clearly. This Savior has emerged in our consciousness as the one through whom the entire story will come to a glorious conclusion.
As I reflect on these words I am challenged to remain faithful. Though the exact circumstances ahead remain mysterious, the theme of Christ’s faithfulness serves as an example I am called to follow. Though suffering and trial surround me, they have been revealed as a temporary reality, for the end is not in doubt. There is a future plan in all of this, and the one who has been faithful to us is now calling us to faithfully follow him through all we will encounter.
I say “we” intentionally. I am, along with my church family, one of the recipients of this letter. Yet it is not a letter written only to me. This revelation comes to all of us who have been bought by Christ. I read the commendation and admonition to my specific church, but it comes in the context of similar instructions to fellow churches in others cities. This revelation is something we encounter together, as the plan unfolds in and through all of us.
Those of us who have been called by God’s grace receive a calling to worship God. It is tempting, as it was for our brother John, to fall down and worship at the feet of the angels who carry such colossal revelations with them. We are struck by the warning from start to finish to “Worship God” alone. The intense and enigmatic images fight for the allegiance of our attention, but if we allow them to steal our focus we miss the point. This revelation reveals God’s plan, and our role within that plan is faithful worship.
The God we worship is worthy of worship. The continual picture of his glory and grace are only rivaled by the fact that he is the author of this entire narrative. We have been given a glimpse, a mysterious and terrifying glimpse, of how he will conclude the final chapter of his story. This foretaste gives us hope and builds our faith, for we know this God never loses authority, never compromises his plan, and always remains faithful to his word.