Revelation 1:5-6, 9-13
"... and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen."
I, John, your brother who shares with you in the hardship, kingdom, and endurance that we have in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and my witness about Jesus. I was in a Spirit-inspired trance on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. It said, “Write down on a scroll whatever you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
I turned to see who was speaking to me, and when I turned, I saw seven oil lamps burning on top of seven gold stands. In the middle of the lampstands I saw someone who looked like the Human One. He wore a robe that stretched down to his feet, and he had a gold sash around his chest.
John began the telling of us vision from God with a greeting. This greeting doesn’t seem at all connected with the strangeness – and the horror – of what is to come in the rest of John’s book. It almost feels like a bait and switch. John recognizes suffering as a mutual reality of the life of true faith.
I wonder what it is like to have the Holy Spirit give a vision? I wonder what Jesus looked like when he spoke to John?
When, in your life, has the beginning of something seemed full of promise, only to turn out less than you’d hoped?
Lord Jesus, you are so real, your trumpet-voice still speaks. Thank you for caring about your suffering people and giving John a vision of you. Help us to see your beauty and power in new ways. Amen.