Revelation 19:5-10: Victory Song
Although we have spent time with this imagery in the past, certain verses made a strong impression on us regarding the two beasts that crawl out of the sea and the earth. Fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast . . . It performed great signs . . . It deceived the inhabitants of the earth with the signs it was allowed to perform . . . It forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave . . . so that no one could buy or sell except the one who had the stamped image of the beast’s name or the number that stood for the name. (13:3; 13-14; 16-17)
What is it about the shadow world and evil that draws us in? Do we think we might overcome these forces like a superhero? What is it about membership in a secret society that lures us? Is it a feeling of belonging and protection through dark arts we think we might manipulate?
Are we really so susceptible to the siren song of the temptation Adam and Eve first heard: You can be like gods? Why can we not see that the God who is Love and Goodness will never force us in any way . . . even if for our own good? What do we not understand about God that we insist on wanting things our way? Why can we not be faithful . . . true . . . honest . . . patient . . . and persevering? Is the reward of happiness not enough for us? What is it we truly seek?
We move through our weekend errands. Grocery shopping, haircut, Starbuck’s, bookstore and craft store. As we bump into friends, visit with children and grandchildren, our existential questions surface each time we pause to allow silence and prayer. Finally, sitting quietly with scripture to examine the book of Revelation, we find The Victory Song.
The wedding day of the Lord has come and the bride has made herself ready.
And we might sing . . . The wedding day of the Lord has come and we have made ourselves ready.
The angel tells us: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
When we fall down to worship, the angel replies: Don’t! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers who bear witness to Jesus. Worship God. Witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
We are creatures fashioned to worship our maker. There is a universal gift to come to this wedding feast as bride, adorned by the white gown of our honest deeds.
Do we think this wedding covenant is impossible? Is it too much to ask that we worship God only in the company of God’s creation? Are we waiting to be forced into worship as the adorers of the beast are forced?
Our good and loving God who is rich in kindness forces no one. This merciful and just God calls each and all. This adoring and adored God of all Creation wants to rejoice with us in the Victory Song. This patient God, for whom all things are possible, invites us to the feast as bride to his bridegroom. All we need bring is our humble and imperfect selves. Our God, the God who heals and who makes imperfect creatures whole, awaits our answer to his invitation. Let us sing out our own Amen, Alleluia!
Adapted from a Favorite from October 25, 2008.