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Revelation blog post 16: Shock and Awe

February 15, 2015

“Welcomed in to the courts of the King
I’ve been ushered in to Your presence
Lord, I stand on Your merciful ground
Yet with every step tread with reverence

And I’ll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around
Yes, I’ll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around

Who is there in the heavens like You?
And upon the earth, who’s Your equal?
You are far above, You’re the highest of heights
We are bowing down to exalt You

So let Your glory shine around
Let Your glory shine around
King of glory, here be found
King of glory” – Matt Redman – Facedown ( from the album ‘Facedown’)

Revelation 4:4-5

The heaven that is revealed to John is SOMETHING. He is unable to describe the One who sits on the throne in any way that will help us visualise him. He is indescribably beautiful.

But there is more to this throne room. There are 24 other thrones. And on each one is seated an elder.

The church traditions I come from denote elders as those in leadership in the local church. They serve the church in that way. Somehow these elders must have an authority and ministry in heaven. Not just for a local church but for the whole universal church.

If you love your church elders, imagine this. 24 of them!

For the moment at least we are told nothing about what they do, other than that sit there.

They are dressed in white, which speaks of purity. Presumably they have proved themselves by their lives on earth.

They wear gold crowns, speaking of royalty, or reward.

John though is taken back to the main throne. Not by words. Not by sights. But this time by sights and sounds. Flashes of lightning, rumbling, thunder. What is this about? Is it about being awe struck? Is it even that when God speaks his words can barely be made out by a mere mortal?

Everything says beauty and majesty. Awesome. Not in the pathetic way we use that word about everything nowadays. John stands in awe. We will all stand in awe before God.

This is not our best mate here. Our relationship is not casual. He is almighty God. Of course there is a contradiction here, in that as believers in Jesus we become children of this God. He loves us. We can approach him. We can experience an intimacy. Imagine that!

But when we come to worship is it all too easy for us, or are there times when we are just struck by the holiness of God? And it all seems to much. In my worship do I focus in on me and how I feel? What I want. What I need.

Or so we recognise we stand on holy ground? Totally unworthy. Utterly undeserving. But loved and welcomed to the throne room of God.

Matt Redman maybe catches something of this in his song “facedown”. Is that my experience or yours? Or do we stand arms folded/hands in pockets/ eyes glazing over.

Do e need something of this vision of glory and majesty? I’m sure we do!

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