Monday, September 1, 2008

A Musical Revelation

I am currently reading Ezekiel and Revelation (with an occasional Psalm) in the Life Journal. This morning as I read chapter six of Revelation I was struck, once again, by the background music of this extraordinary book. Revelation, an apocalyptic work written by John of Patmos toward the end of the first Christian century, was written to bring comfort and hope to people who were enduring devastating persecution because they were Christ followers. Most of us get hung up on trying to figure out what Revelation predicts and in so doing we miss the spiritual significance of taking the book at face value.

The music is amazing! There is a chorus of singers chanting and calling out "Holy, Holy, Holy" the place were the traditional hymn by that name gets its primary text. There is another huge group of singers singing out "He is worthy to receive glory, honor and praise." Not to be outdone we find another group singing "For he alone is worthy" and on and on it goes. I have been told by my teachers that a lot of the work of eternity is worship. As I read the Bible I see that a significant part of this worship is music.

What is interesting to my somewhat scattered mind is that each of these passages seems to have a different musical beat in my heart. One is pounding rock and roll, in another I hear the mathematical precision of Bach, and in a third the beat is distinctly salsa in feel. When I read Revelation my heart hears music and my soul wants to dance. Who cares what seven headed ten horned beasts means? I want to get up and move. I want to join the worship, sing my heart out, throw my crown, fall on my face . . .

In Africa, a few years ago, I learned an African proverb that said if you can talk you can sing and if you can walk you can dance. In the book of Revelation the music makes us all want to call and move.

Revelation 22 promises a blessing to all who read this book. I am convinced part of that blessing is in the rhythm of the beat. Are you in the dance of worship?

Dr. BJ

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