2 Sa 19-20; Rev 5-6; Psalm 48
For all our difficulties with reading Revelation – Chapter 5 contains the most exalted hymn of Praise to God in Christ, in all of Scripture. John hears Every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth worshiping Christ – the fulness of the one who fills everything in every way.
As I have written elsewhere – the church in many ways avoids the Cross of Christ. It is in effect reduced to a doctrine about the love of God, we talk about the centrality of ‘the Cross’, and thus the particularity of the Crucified one is hid from our eyes. St Paul as he goes to Corinth he tells us seeks only to know Christ and him crucified.
As we saw in Chapter one, John beholds the Glory. He whom we know stood at the foot of the Roman Cross, who saw his friend and beloved master naked and cruelly nailed to rough timber, wracked, gasping and dying – he it was who truly saw the Lamb that was slain. There is no doctrine here – no message – just the worship of the Crucified one.
As we thought yesterday of the ‘comfortable’ character of the western churches, perhaps it is through the contemplation of the Lamb that was slain, that we might once more recover our true identity as his disciples, rather than lords of our own lives.