Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Quiet, Simple Meditation

The shepherds in the field, tending their flocks by night, were sore afraid when the glory of the Lord shone round about them. We might picture the quiet of the early morning hours, the flocks of sheep bedded down and making little noise, and shepherds dreaming peacefully of warm beds and loving wives when, 'Boom!' the quiet is shattered by the sudden arrival and announcement. John could well relate to that. On the island of Patmos, the last remaining apostle settled in for a bit of meditation, at least that's what we may think when he says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." The elderly John, perhaps looking to serve out the remainder of his mission as a prisoner on the penal island of Patmos, meditated on the Lord's word on perhaps his only day off from work in the mines or whatever the Romans had him doing as a part of enforced labor. A quiet, simple meditation as befitting the senior disciple of our Lord.

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet..." (Rev 1:10)

Behind him, a loud voice, as of a trumpet. Isn't that the sort of thing that us old folks would rather not have? Imagine sitting down in your favorite chair to read a bit of the word of God when suddenly, and with great volume, some lout turns on some trumpet music right behind your chair!

As announcements go, in both cases God got someone's attention in a big way and in a way they could hardly forget. The shepherds were sore afraid. John, writing the revelation down himself as per the Lord's instructions, perhaps forgot to let us know how startled he was at the shattering and sudden intrusion into his quiet, simple meditation. We give him no blame for that, the words of Christ were the important message. The bit about, "as I pounded on my chest with a goodly-sized rock to get my heart started again, the Lord gave me this message..." could be edited out in favor of passing on the Lord's announcement.

The word of the Lord has some wonderful understated humor as we read and study. "...and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet..." John's shriek of surprise must have been lost in a translation somewhere. Praise God for those times when He gets our attention in an unmistakable way!


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