Can you imagine if during your quiet time Jesus appeared to you in all his dazzling splendor like he did for John? What a beautiful vision this was for John, for the seven churches, and for us. We see John, suffering in exile to the Island of Patmos, and then he receives this glorious opportunity to share more of what has fueled his life. To share the revelations of Jesus Christ himself.
As we read through the book of Revelation, we are going to encounter a lot of imagery. My goal, and I hope yours is, too, will be look to for the meaning for us. I’ll do my best to lead us through together. What did John see? Jesus. But not how he had last seen him.
Jesus was now resident in his heavenly home. He had the look of wisdom and majesty. His white hair and robe with gold sash would definitely set him apart as the king of kings and high priest taking our sins to the father. I think I would have fallen to the ground, too, just like John. But the familiar words of comfort come, “Don’t be afraid!”
We are told the seven lamp stands represent the seven churches. And because there are seven, we know it is complete. Those lamp stands must then represent all churches. Did you notice where is Jesus standing? In the middle, among the lamp stands. This tells me that Jesus has not abandoned the church. On the contrary, he is there, along with his angels, protecting and leading.
We have probably all been part of some dividing issue within a church. Whether there were hard feelings, a church split, a pastor being run out of town (been there), or power plays being made by members in leadership, we have felt the brokenness in the body of Christ. It is heart breaking when fellow Christ followers experience discord or division. When you’re caught in the middle of something like that, it’s hard to keep focus and remember that Jesus is there to bring peace. Jesus will not abandon his church. Ever!
What is happening in our world right now is also troubling. Our church doors are either shut due to the pandemic or church members are being kept at a distance from each other. How can ministry continue to happen if we aren’t in community or of if we are too concerned about the forces of nature beyond our control?
I see these verses as testimony that Jesus is with us. We are still the church even if we can’t meet in a building. How are we coming together to help others? What voices are we listening to? The only truth we can rely upon is Jesus and his words to us.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you that you are holding me in your loving arms. May I sense your presence as I navigate through this life. You have given me a job to do, and I want to be faithful to that assignment. Help me to see what I am to do and to do it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.