Daily Worship

No Ground Under Our Feet

June 12, 2021 2
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Image credit: Unsplash

Revelation 18: 1- 8 (NRSV)

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendour. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

‘“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!”
    She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
    a haunt for every unclean bird,
    a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk
    the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
    and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.’

Warning to escape Babylon’s judgment

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

‘“Come out of her, my people,”
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
    and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given;
    pay her back double for what she has done.
    Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief
    as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
    “I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow;
    I will never mourn.”
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
    death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
    for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

We see John’s vision of the ideal city at the end of Revelation. In today’s passage, we encounter the fall of Babylon the Great. A city, which prospered at the expense and oppression of others. The following poem, which I wrote a few years ago, expresses something of the conflict we experience in today’s world. It also points to the ultimate solution:

 

The world is changing

   so rapidly that we find

   no place to stand

   for there is no ground

   beneath our feet.

 

Truth is in short supply

   in this crazy world

   which left to its own devices

   results in endless lies

   and fake news ever prevailing.

 

Yet reality can be sought

   and found upon the long

   and winding road

   rather than bought like

   cheap candy-floss at the fairground.

 

Justice is in short supply

   in this screwed up world

   where everyone does

   what is right

   in their own eyes.

 

The weak are downtrodden

   and continually oppressed

   with no place to rest

   their weary heads

   and no bed to sleep upon.

 

Mercy is mocked and subjugated

   in whitewashed citadels

   where power and might prevail

   and the lowly are despised

   finding no place of refuge.

 

Love is distorted and profaned

   in a world devoid of compassion

   where sexual abuse reigns

   without restraint

    and perpetrators go unpunished.

 

Compassion and care

   are a vestige of the past

   and harshness rules

   in this world

   of government by spin.

   

Now is the time to resist

   the craziness of the hour

   when power seekers

   with strange hair

   appear to triumph.

 

We must stand against

   corruption and deceit

   trusting the One

   who will make all things new

   at the time of his coming.

 

For the world shall be turned

   the right-way-up

   and all wrongs righted

   when he sits upon the throne

   and puts all things to right.

   

Justice and mercy will prevail

   in a recreated world

   where truth shall be seen

   and love displayed

   for all to see.

 

Where at last there is a place

to stand and ground beneath our feet.

 

PRAYER

Come, Lord Jesus Come.