In his great vision, John sees into Heaven, into the very throne room of God. And there he finds the populace of Heaven praising their Lord…
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
It is a familiar old hymn of praise to the one who has created all things. No doubt the angels have been singing this hymn since they themselves were created. But lest we imagine this old hymn in the setting of an eternally dull church service, consider that it may be our old idea of Heaven that is dull.
Could it be that John is not seeing a distant and different place, but simply seeing what is, here and everywhere, now and always, without the blindness of our dust-born senses? Didn’t Paul see us seated there with God in Heavenly places? Could Heaven be the reality, the awareness, the vision of God as he truly is, majestic and sovereign, vivacious and engaging?
In this Heaven, no being praises out of self-conscious conformance. No attention is given by the corner of the eye to the praises of another. For all in Heaven are face to face with the wondrous and glorious one; all are watching and anticipating his words, his plans, his wisdom, his favor. All are filled with admiration and gratitude for the great lover and giver of everything good.
This is not a static and weary scene. There is much coming and going. Messengers are dispatched on grand errands. Warriors are briefed on critical missions. The business of the court of a king. And it is not all pomp and ceremony. For this king’s heart is near to his subjects. He is listening and blessing and comforting and recognizing his servants, for they are every one his children.
But I digress. John is peeking into the scene at the moment of a startling new thing. It is the presentation of the Lamb. The eternal Son of God is unveiled as the Lamb of God, the redeemer of all things, the savior of the world. The mysterious plan of God has been accomplished, surprising even the angels…
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)
The scroll can be opened and the epic concluded. Evil and pain and sorrow will now be swept away. What the Creator once called good will be good again. All things will become new. The Lamb has been slain and it is finished.
This new song causes no division in the hosts of Heaven. There is no contention between those who love the old hymns and those on the vanguard. No, the songs are partners in this dance. With perfect harmony, God, Father and Son, Creator and Redeemer, are adored together as one…
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)
The celebration is here and now. What are we waiting for?