“He will reign forever and ever.”
Candle Lighter: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord…” Response: “…and of his Christ.”
Scripture: Revelation 11:15-18
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.”
16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. 17 And they said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty,
the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were filled with wrath,
but now the time of your wrath has come.
It is time to judge the dead
and reward your servants the prophets,
as well as your holy people,
and all who fear your name,
from the least to the greatest.
It is time to destroy
all who have caused destruction on the earth.”
Reader: The word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.
Have you noticed how much and how often voices and beings in heaven are involved in John’s vision? In II Peter 3:9 Peter writes that the “Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come…” This particular section of Revelation deals with the day of the Lord and the ending of God’s patience, which is not infinite. The blast of a trumpet was used as a signal for various things, in this case, of impending judgment for all who have rejected and refused God’s offer of redemption. The hosts in heaven shout the beginning of “the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” The “was, and is, and is to come” has arrived! The “is to come” is now! The reign of Jesus Christ over his Kingdom has begun. The twenty-four elders represent all the people of God worshiping the Almighty. With the coming of the Kingdom comes also the final judgment of those who have rebelled against God and his children. It is also time to reward the faithful who have suffered for their faith. As we begin this new year, there is the feeling that things will continue as they always have and that the description of this passage is remote and just an idea in the far distant future, almost as if it will never really happen. But, God said it will. George Frideric Handel wrote one of the most famous pieces of music in the world using some of the text you just read. Notice right before the text says, “King of kings and Lord of lords” we have the iconic sixteenth notes from the trumpet―the trumpet blast of the angel described in verse fifteen. As you listen, note how the text, aside from the “Hallelujahs,” develops. The day is coming when we will be present for all that is described. It could be this year!
Music: “Hallelujah Chorus” BBC George Handel Trevor Pinnock The English Concert
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, help us to live each day of this year as if it will be our last on this earth, you alone know what lies ahead and when this world, as we know it, will come to an end and the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ will begin an endless reign forever and ever. Hallelujah! Amen.
― Daniel Sharp
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