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 with 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 worshipped God, singing: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying......‘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 .... They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to the springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
(Church in Wales Lectionary, from the New Revised Standard Version)
If I say "The Book of Revelation" most people will immediately think "Four horsemen of the Apocalypse"! But this book has something more to teach us, even though our minds may be full of pictures of death and war from modern films that use the theme.
This is the last book in our Bible and the author, John, is writing from the island of Patmos to seven churches in Asia, in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. It was a time of considerable turmoil, the Empire having erupted in civil war in AD 69, and the area suffering from both earthquakes and plagues during this time!
This is a book of Prophecy, and prophecy was about giving God's perspective on the world, not just the future. Revelation is about God’s sovereign rule over his church and over history in a series of picture images. We see the Saints worshipping God and the Lamb (Jesus), and learn that God will establish His perfect new creation, at which time evil will be destroyed. We believers are encouraged to keep going and keep our faith in God even in a time of crisis.
Lord God Almighty,
ruler of the universe,
we worship You
along with all Your saints,
and praise Your glorious name.
Increase our faith at this time
of hardship and difficulty,
and draw us ever closer to You.