Dreaming of the End that has no End
The passage of Scripture that I read today for my daily Bible reading came from the book of Revelation chapter 7. I'm reading through the New Testament again this year, and am nearing the end, so I'm making my way through the rambling writings of John the Revelator once more.
The passage I read today describes a scene of cosmic worship and praise. The Revelator writes:
I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:
Salvation to our God on his Throne!
Salvation to the Lamb!
All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals—fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing:
The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,
The honor and power and strength,
To our God forever and ever and ever!
Oh, Yes! (Revelation 7:9-12, The Message)
It's an incredible scene to be sure--a vision of a world unified under one common purpose: to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Messsiah, the One through whom all of Creation is restored, renewed and redeemed. It's a vision of the world as it should be, as it one day will be according to the Apostle Paul, who wrote:
"... God lifted [Jesus] high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)
We long for this--all of us, even if we don't fully understand what it means to believe in Jesus. We long for a world that is filled with peace and justice. We long for the unity and connectedness of all people. We long for a day when all things will be set to right.
Thomas Merton wrote beautifully about why we feel this way. He said, "Our destiny is to go on beyond everything, to leave everything, to press forward to the End and find in the End our Beginning, the ever-new Beginning that has no end."
May you press forward today filled with a vision of hope, praise and worship. May you strive for unity with your sisters and brothers in the world around you, which in itself is a glimpse of the glorious vision of how the world ought to be, and will be one day because of Jesus.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.