John commences his letter to the seven churches in the province of Asia with this hymn of praise – a doxology (you may see a theme developing here at FDR!).
What richness flows from the words of scripture today! The reading is bookended by the repeated phrase
‘who is, and who was, and who is to come‘ (v4, v8)
A wonderful reminder that God is before all, after all and IS all. He stands before and after our lives as well as in the midst of them. More than that, he stands before and after all of time – his majesty stretches beyond than our comprehension. Yet, he is not removed from us. This same ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ is echoed in John’s doxology (v5-7),
PRESENT: to him who loves us
PAST: and has freed us from our sins by his blood
FUTURE: and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father
John reminds us of who we are – loved, forgiven, eternal – and then points us to the hope of Jesus return where ‘every eye will see him‘ (v7). What great hope we have that the Father who loves us and who has forgiven us will one day return. Our great hope is also a great warning for those who do not know him as king – ‘even those who pierced him‘.
As we close out this year, I pray that we will grasp the enormity of great wonder and hope that John provides in these scriptures and that we will reach out to those around us so that they too can receive the assurance of salvation found only in Jesus ‘the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth‘ (v5)