Sat, 11 May 2019
(Acts 13:14,43-52; Ps.100:1-3,5; Rv.7:9,14b-17; Jn.10:27-30)
“The Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water.”
Joy is our promise in the Lord, brothers and sisters. Absolute, eternal, universal joy. And though we may suffer persecution now, “the time of great distress” upon us but provides the means, the water, by which all saints “have washed their robes and made them white.” “The blood of the Lamb” is necessary to bring us to the kingdom of God.
Paul and Barnabas suffer “violent abuse” today for proclaiming the word of the Lord. But from it comes their turn to the Gentiles, who delight in joy at this call to the kingdom. And these disciples themselves “were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit,” despite being expelled from the territory to which they’d come. All is joy in the Lord!
In our second reading, John depicts all the saints who “stand before God’s throne and worship Him day and night in His temple.” Here they are utterly protected from harm, the harm that afflicted them while on earth. No trials exist anymore in this everlasting shelter, for the Lord has “wipe[d] away every tear from their eyes.” These tears, too, are water which cleanses the soul, which makes us robed in white before the Lord.
And Jesus assures us, to our great exultation, that “no one can take [us] out of the Father’s hand,” or His own. He and the Father are one, and no greater power is there under or above the sun. Though threats of robbery besiege our souls as we travel through this world, let us make the Lord’s assurance our own, and have faith that nothing will remove us from His arms.
Our psalmist exalts in the joy that should reflect the song in all our souls: “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful song.” So let us search our hearts to find that joy within us and overflowing from us. Let me ask you, brother, sister, did John see you present in his “vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue”? Is the life-giving water of the Lamb washing you clean for that day? Then joy should be yours even where you stand, for even now you stand with Him.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Everyone's a Baby, Everyone's a Child" from All One, sixth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let us follow your Son to the kingdom
where He reigns over all.
YHWH, souls from every nation stand before your throne in white robes, for your Son is a light even to the Gentiles; even to these do His apostles speak your Word. Even these are called to eternal life by the Messiah.
Day and night we shall worship in your holy Temple, O LORD, protected by the Lamb at the center of the throne in your heavenly kingdom. What John has seen shall soon come to pass for all those who wash their robes in Jesus’ blood. Every faithful soul is welcomed into His arms, is led into your pasture. And this flock you tend untiringly, your Spirit upon all your children of light.
And why should we care if we should suffer for your sake and the sake of your Name? This persecution but brings joy to your blessed disciples, for in it they share in the sacrifice of your Son and so in the eternal joy of Heaven. O LORD, hold us always in your Hand!