All together now
1 Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’
6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.’
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!’
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’
14 And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped.
I felt as excited as a kid in candy shop.
I was on the brink of something special, I could sense it: my very first football game (or as we would refer to it, ‘soccer’) at the age of 31.
‘Where have you been, mate?’ you might ask. Well, growing up in South Africa rugby was much more supported and valued.This truth shocked a friend to the point where he felt compelled to invite me along to a derby.
I’d been quite sceptical after recalling movies such as Green Street Hooligans that portray a vicious side to the spectator sport.
But I was hopeful NOT to run into cult-like supporters. The colours I’d wear were neutral. Grey and black. No one would even notice me.
The entire experience overwhelmed me. From the historical stadium tour right through the hospitality and food to the final game. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous. Fans were friendly and they weren’t nearly as intimidating as they appear in the Hollywood flicks.
But the thing that really struck me, that stuck to me — was something I’ve never experienced before — the singing! Jubilant, as one, full of pride and soul. The arena was filled with the resounding and deafening sound of chanting.
No sheet music or conductor. It wasn’t necessary. Everyone knew the role they had to play. And everyone knew the refrains by heart. It’s as if they instinctively followed without instruction.
And that’s what they had in common. That bound them together. They were following the same tune.
In Revelation 5 we get something similar. People from different cultures, ethnicities, nations and tribes coming together in song to worship God. Singing and proclaiming that Jesus is King. Isn’t that wonderful how we’re encouraged to celebrate our differences? That’s the thing that makes us strong followers of Jesus. Our diversity.
We might speak different languages but in the end we all sing the same love song: Jesus is Saviour!
Lord, you are the worthy lamb that was slain.
To You be the praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever.
This has always been our song around the world.
May it unify us as followers more every day.