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The marriage feast of the Lamb who’s making all things new

Posted Apr 21, 2017

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Daily Scripture

Revelation 19:5-9

5 Then a voice went out from the throne and said,
“Praise our God, all you his servants,
        and you who fear him, both small and great.”
6 And I heard something that sounded like a huge crowd, like rushing water and powerful thunder. They said,
“Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty,
        exercised his royal power!
7 Let us rejoice and celebrate, and give him the glory,
    for the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
        and his bride has made herself ready.
8 She was given fine, pure white linen to wear,
    for the fine linen is the saints’ acts of justice.”
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Favored are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.” He said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 21:1-6

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “All is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring.

Reflection Questions

Many people think Revelation is bleak and scary—but near its end, the vision pictured God’s restored world as a joyous wedding banquet! (In Bible times, wedding banquets were an even bigger deal than today’s receptions.) The vision rolled on to end in Paradise restored. With images from the prophet Isaiah as well as the Genesis creation stories, it showed the world as God meant it to be—no pain, suffering or death. In Revelation 21, “the one seated on the throne” made a resonant promise to our broken, hurting world: “I’m making all things new.”

  • Some men may be a bit put-off by the idea of God’s people as “the bride” of Christ. But it’s a worthy spiritual metaphor for all of us: “Next comes the marriage of the Lamb to his bride. That picture stands for the final union between Jesus Christ and his Church. R. H. Charles finely says that the marriage symbolism ‘denotes the intimate and indissoluble communion of Christ with the community which he has purchased with his own blood.’” * What helps you feel favored to be invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb?
  • Every day natural disasters, illnesses, some large or small part of the economy going south or the world scene getting more chaotic can make it feel as though the news is trying to snuff out hope. In whom do you place your confidence that “the worst thing is never the last thing”? Do you trust that Jesus meant it when he promised to prepare a place for us so that we can be with him forever (cf. John 14:1-3)? Can you live in hope that, in the end, God will win?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I yearn for the day when you will make all things new. Keep renewing me inside, empowering me to live with trust and hope in a world painfully short of both. Amen.


* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Revelation of John—Volume 2, Chapters 6–22 (Revised Edition). (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, revised edition 1976, p. 172.

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Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 7th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group and a men’s group, and serves on the curriculum team.

On the new Resurrection Prayer Walk there is a fantastic mural of modern disciples gathering for a meal with Jesus looking on. During Holy Week, this mural reminded me of a contemporary version of da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” However during another visit it called to mind a noisy family reunion that had outgrown any dining room and needed to be held outside. (I’d include a photo, but you really do need to experience the walk for yourself.)

As one reads through today’s victorious scenes from Revelation, one can’t help but get the impression of a joyous epilogue where all the believers gather together, like our Prayer Walk mural, to share in a glorious, congratulatory banquet. I can imagine our heroes of the faith feeling quite vindicated as they laugh and gloat in God’s great victory over evil:

  • DJ: Next up for Karaoke – Adam & Eve singing a duet, “It's Almost Paradise.”1

  • Moses just texted me. He’s lost. Can someone give him directions?2

  • Is it just me or does that Goliath story get longer every time David re-tells it?3

  • Whoever booked the band "Joshua & The Good Vibrations" knew what they were doing. They are bringing down the house.4

  • Wow, I’ve never seen the prophet Jeremiah look so happy. Like, ever.5

  • This is going to be hilarious. Watch. I sent an order of fish sticks to Jonah’s table.6

  • John The Baptist: Waiter? Why isn’t there a fly in my soup?7

  • Where have you been? I was stuck at a table with Matthew talking tax reform. Yikes. Tell me about it.8

  • Joseph of Arimathea is really messing with people. He’s using a black sharpie to label all the red Solo cups with “The Holy Grail.”9

  • Samson, you look great. New haircut?10

  • Thomas: I must say, without a doubt, this is the best banquet ever.11 Apostle Paul: Yes, but as I wrote to our friends in Corinth, it needn’t be viewed just as a grand ending to God’s story. Each & every one of us can be a new creation in Christ today/right-now, and we can immediately celebrate in the joy and hope of God’s reconciling love without needing to wait for the new Heaven and Earth. Now, that is something to celebrate every day!12

  • Mary: Son, do you want to check to see if we are running out of wine? 
    Jesus: (Smiling.) Not again, Mom. That’s how this whole thing got started.13

Editor: Here is some context for the above attempts at humor: 

1Since Adam & Eve were famously in paradise, this song from the “Footloose” soundtrack would seem appropriate. 

2Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years. 

3David’s upset victory seems like one that would be embellished through the years. 

4Joshua brought down the walls of Jericho with a band of trumpets. 

5Jeremiah is justifiably known as the “weeping prophet.” 

6Jonah’s rough sea adventure might put him off fish for a while. 

7John the Baptist’s honey and insect diet was legendary. 

8Before becoming a Disciple, Matthew was a tax collector. 

9Joseph of Arimathea is a key player in King Arthur’s legend of The Holy Grail. 

10Samson’s haircut courtesy of Delilah is notorious. 

11Thomas is infamous for his doubts until Christ convinces him of His Resurrection. 

12(2 Corinthians 5:17-18) 

13Jesus’ first miracle, per John, was turning water into wine at Mary’s request. 

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