On earth, the eleventh chapter of Revelation shows us this: Two witnesses clothed in sackcloth preach repentance. But a beast from the bottomless pit surfaces, makes war on them, conquers them, murders them, and leaves their bodies in the street.
In heaven, the eleventh chapter of Revelation shows us this: Loud voices proclaim:
The kingdom of the world
the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Christ
and he shall reign forever and ever!
It will not be the last time assault and adoration are juxtaposed in Revelation. It seems incongruous: sing the liturgy while saints are being slaughtered? But Revelation prepares us for persecution and the End Times. God is reminding us: don’t stop doing what you’ve always done. The chaos of the world and the conflicts of our lives drive us down. But come Sunday morning, we haul our shell-shocked bodies and souls to church, find a pew, and let the praises fly.
Incongruous? We never thought of it that way. Battles, confusion, defeat? Why wouldn’t we praise God while evil rages? Christ was born amid the slaughter of infants and died praying for us from the bottomless pit.
For certain victory, Father: Hallelujah!
Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.