Revelation 5:1–14 (ESV)
The Scroll and the Lamb
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming
with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and
I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered,
so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing,
as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And
when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying
with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that
is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
character of heavenly worship powerfully underscores the glory of Christ’s redeeming work. Apart from Him, our fallen world has no hope. However, because Jesus was slain and then conquered death, His people are ransomed and have the hope of glory.
I pray: “Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God.… Blessing, honor, glory and might be to God and the Lamb forever.” Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2209.
Revelation 4:1–11 (ESV)
The Throne in Heaven
4 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take
place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian,
and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their
heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before
the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the
first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them
with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne,
who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
John describes the heavenly worship he saw in the Lord’s throne
room, where all the saints and angels adore the Lord. Regular worship is a serious matter, required by one of the Ten Commandments and described as the activity of heaven. Sadly, many people do not even feel a twinge of conscience while skipping divine services.
Even while present, they may fail to focus on the promised blessing in such services. Yet, Jesus continues to call us back to His presence. In fact, His forgiveness and promise of eternal life is the first order of business in the Divine Service.
I pray: Lord, move us to love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells, for therein we receive Your gifts of life and salvation. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing
House, 2009), 2208.
Revelation 3:14–22 (ESV)
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not
realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and
the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold,
I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne,
as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”
Jesus rebukes the Laodicean Church for growing self-satisfied and indifferent to the faith. Becoming complacent and self-satisfied about our Christian walk can be as destructive as outright hostility and persecution. Despite this common
failing, Christ still comes to us in His Word and Sacrament, granting repentance and forgiveness. He calls us to follow Him into life everlasting.
I pray: “O mighty
Rock, O Source of life, Let Your dear Word, in doubt and strife, In us be strongly burning That we be faithful unto death And live in love and holy faith, From You true wisdom learning.”
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2207.
Revelation 3:7–13 (ESV)
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts
and no one opens.
8 “ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one
is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and
are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you
from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The
one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Jesus assures the struggling Church in Philadelphia
that their faithfulness to Him will be fully vindicated and rewarded. Outside the Church, and sadly sometimes even within it, there is a tendency to look down on those with little power. But the Lord sees things differently. He looks for faithfulness rather
than power, and He gives unsurpassed strength—even over death itself—to those who trust in Him.
I pray: “Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word …
Though life be wrenched away, They cannot win the day. The Kingdom’s ours forever!” Amen. (LSB 655:1; 657:4).
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing
House, 2009), 2206.
Revelation 3:1–6 (ESV)
To the Church in Sardis
3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember,
then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have
not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his
name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Jesus exhorts the congregation at Sardis to
wakefulness and renewed vigor. All Christians need to remain similarly watchful, for we, too, easily lapse into spiritual lethargy and even death—even while having the reputation of being strong. Sustained by the Word and Sacrament, however, we can remain
healthy even unto life everlasting.
I pray: Alleluia! “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Alleluia!
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2206.