Practicing Resurrection: Reign (Revelation 5:6-14)

“Then I Saw A Lamb,” Macha Chmakoff

A series of reflections on Jesus’ resurrection appearances, contributed by past and present Pepperdiners. Today’s wraps up this series with a refection from alumnus Carl Flynn.

Revelation 5.6-14 Really Real Reality

Whether it is the first century or today, it is easy to wax apocalyptic like the Apostle John when we consider the gruesome tale spun by the world around us:

  • Husbands and wives are unfaithful to one another.
  • Fathers and mothers turn against their children.
  • Children turn against their parents and siblings.
  • Military forces silence perceived threats to government power.
  • The values of the prevailing culture are legislated against those who believe otherwise.
  • People are swindled in the marketplace and the economy is structured so that it is impossible for some to make ends meet.
  • The “faithful” seem to heed the word of the State more than the Word of the Lord.
  • The safe havens where we once found comfort no longer exist.

With the turn of each page, the story grows more bleak.

Yet, from the midst of the chaos, a song emerges:

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (5.12)

The chorus blasts through the many holes in our story of reality, resounding ever louder as the world as we know it begins to fade:

“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.” (5.13)

What comes into focus is a reality whose substance dissolves all other claims to the term. God is in control, seated on the royal throne, encircled by powers and authorities in submission to the Great King. God’s Anointed triumphantly enters the throne room bearing the visage of a Lamb sacrificed to redeem “saints from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (5.9) And when the Lamb is given the scroll that only He is authorized to open, the entire throne room erupts in glorious worship worthy of the Father and the Son.

This is Reality. As the drama of Easter continues to unfold, Jesus Christ has ascended to the Father and God’s reign remains secure over all Creation. Regardless of what we see through the events of our immediate experience, God is graciously and carefully guiding the future toward God’s hopeful end, which is the reconciliation and restoration of all things. This is the grand story that coheres the fractured stories that shape our understanding of the world, others and ourselves. As we join the chorus of praise that resounds throughout the throne room in worship before God, the righteousness of God in the world becomes more evident and we stand among the reigning saints (5.10). In this moment, we find ourselves on hopeful ground that compels us to endure even in the midst of the most tragic of circumstances.

Will we allow ourselves to hear the song of the angelic host breaking through the gaping seams in the stories of our day-to-day? As the voices pierce our hearts and we join the angelic choir, what impact will being caught up in God’s grandeur have upon the world?

Carl was an undergrad, grad student, staff member, and Religion prof in his many Pepperdine lives, during which he sealed the deal with Jesus and his wife Chantal. They’ve got two well-loved kids, singing grandeur in the middle of things. He combines passion for faith, PR, media and education as Director of Marketing & Communications for
Information Technology & University Libraries at Baylor University. When not rewriting the internet, he contributes thoughtfully and thoroughly to the life and curriculum at Crestview Church of Christ in Waco. I met Carl before I knew him, way back in the ’80s, and now we are elderly friends.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s