Slideshow image

Imagine you’re at a much anticipated theatrical performance.

You are enjoying the sights and sounds of the lobby filled with people all there for the same reason as you, the show. The lights blink 3 times, the universal signal to return to your seats the show is about to begin. There’s chatter, the orchestra is beginning to warm up with their individual routines which makes for this lovely and chaotic non-song of music that continues to build the anticipation. The curtain closes. The lights dim. Silence. It’s beginning! 

The conductor takes their post. Suddenly the tympany begin to rumble at his command. Layer upon layer of instruments build dynamics to what is going to be an epic show. The lights flash, and the curtain begins to open. Who will take the stage?! To your total shock and awe, the spotlight turns out into the crowd - it shines on YOU. You’re in the show! You’re one of the crucial characters! 

Revelation 4 and 5 are just like this scene we’ve imagined. These two chapters are setting the stage for what we read at the end of the chapter - OUR participation in the Kingdom of God. It always feels a little shocking to read that we are ‘made a kingdom and priests’ and will rule and reign and that the golden bowls brought to the throne of God are filled with the prayers of the saints, doesn’t it? We are reading a book that is very very old. We are reading of the Lamb who was slain..which historically took place a little over 2000 years ago. So, how am involved in this?! 

The picture of the throne room that John reveals to us 2 things (there’s more but for today): 


  1. The Kingdom of God is NOW. And then, and forever. This is not a static image. The Lamb is moving, He is standing, the elders are bowing and bowing again, bringing the prayers of the people of God. The Victory is final. But there is still work to be done. There are still prayers to be prayed. And if the Kingdom of God is NOW and not simply an awaited event in the future, that means that we are a Kingdom and Priests NOW. 
  2. The word used in verse 10 “and they will reign” is a word not just meaning “one day they will reign” - but it is used many times in the bible in all tenses. They are, they will. It simply means, “to reign.” So, we will not one day be made a kingdom and priests who will one day rule and reign with the Lamb in the Kingdom of God. No, we ARE a Kingdom and Priests, currently ruling and reigning with the Lamb right here, right now, in the Kingdom of God that is NOW. Makes me feel both terrified and like, supercharged with my face painted and arms raised screaming at the top of my lungs “YAAAAAA!!!! LET’S DO THIS!!!!” 

Friends, you and I are characters in the story. We have a role to play in God’s Kingdom and make it known to the people around us. We are not saved to simply be trust fund kids that sit back and watch the show, eating of the excesses of our inheritance. No, we are saved to not only enjoy that inheritance but welcome as many more people into it as we can. We do that by ruling and reigning like the Lamb. We do that by sacrificial love. We do it by living like the Lamb. We go with the authority of the Lamb. Unbelievably helpful to what can feel overwhelming is the promise that He is with us. When you go, He goes with you. When you pray, your prayers are carefully carried directly into the presence of God in precious bowls. Christ IN you is the hope of Glory. May we lean into the Way of the Lamb more and more. May we bring the message and ministry of Jesus into our everyday lives! (aka, ruling and reigning!:) 

Pastor Laura