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The Great Ordeal

October 27, 2020

“Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'” Revelation 9:13-14

Scanning my Facebook feed this morning, I read posts from friends who are evacuating their homes in Southern California. As in Colorado, the fires are raging. I cannot quite imagine what it’s like to leave your home, not knowing if it will still be there when you return. Today we pray for those who flee, and for the firefighters who bravely struggle to protect life and property. What an incredible ordeal for all involved.

This coming Sunday is All Saints Day, and we are shown an image of the saints. Gathered around the throne, they sing praises to the Lamb. They have endured the great ordeal and, for the sake of Christ and by his blood, they have triumphed. Robed now in white (a signifier of Christ’s righteousness, not an indication of the superiority of one skin color over another), they have joined the Church Triumphant.

Who knows what ordeals we will have to endure in the coming days, as fires both real and metaphorical rage around us? But whatever occurs, the end of the story has been secured. The Lamb sits on the throne, and already the saints in light sing praise. So, too, shall we one day. Until that day comes, may we care for one another, lightening the load of this world’s ordeals by bearing one another’s burdens.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Lamb of God, we join our voices to the choirs of saints and angels who sing your praise. Give peace, hope, and wisdom in the midst of life’s ordeals until, at the last, we join the song of resurrection around your throne. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Adoration of the Lamb, from the Ghent Altarpiece, Jan van Eyck, 1432 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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