Today our focus on Revelation takes us to the heavenly throne room where we witness the creatures of heaven singing the New Song that all creation (“every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and in the sea” Rev 5:13) is singing and will sing together. In unison.
Perhaps we'd rather sing in 4-part harmony. Garrison Keillor once said he likes to make fun of Lutherans for their “blandness, their excessive calm, their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed and for their secret fondness for macaroni and cheese.” But, according to him, nobody can hold a candle to the way Lutherans, whom he claims are bred from childhood to do so, sing in harmony. The truth, of course, is that harmony is great, when it happens…but it usually doesn’t, even for Lutherans. And I’m not just talking about praise bands and church choirs.
Our inability to sing in unison with heaven reveals that we are a people in exile. Have the “gender wars” entered a more complicated phase now that ABC News has found 58 custom gender identifications (agender, cisgender, transgender, etc.) on Facebook? And do number games divide us from one another? We are known by our credit score, our SAT score, our well-being score...if, that is, we have a score that is worth ranking at all! It’s no wonder that our song is less than harmonious. It’s no surprise that we may even wonder if we have a song worth singing in the first place.
Today is a chance to get our identity right. We are, before anything else, forgiven sinners, for Jesus’ sake. Today is also a day to give thanks for the only number that matters—one creation of God—that, though fallen, though perhaps even dying, was originally created “very good” (Gen 1:31), and already joins together in a never-ending hymn in praise of the Lamb who has rescued and redeemed it.
What does that Song look like in your life? How will you sing that New Song tomorrow, when church is over? Though we're a people in exile, we are animated with Life! Easter might be over, but Easter joy gives us a new beginning this week...and every week to come.