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The Testimony of the Communion of Saints
by Dan Kidd
I find myself wondering how and why John could be so scant on details. John witnessed with his eyes the blessed priesthood of believers, finally and forever unified as they’d always been intended—and, also, magnificently distinct in who they were uniquely made to be—sewn together like a vibrant, living, breathing, swaying, and singing quilt. Joined alongside them were “all the angels.” After seeing all this, John gives us only what seems to be the fewest details allowable. John, this is the glory of glory—the united chorus upon the resolution of all the divisions between ourselves and God and one another—and you’re sticking to “just the facts, ma’am?”
On the other hand, how could John, or anyone, sufficiently illustrate a moment like that? Truth be told, there are some events so profound, so complex, overwhelming, head-spinning, or electrifying that words—even the most splendid, prosaic, illustrative words—fail to adequately convey the experience. I could describe to you some of the emotions I felt, thoughts I had, and sights I saw on occasions like my wedding day, my son’s birth, our baptisms, or even at my grandparents’ funerals. Even the bulkiest vernaculars and most agile phrase turners shore short on events like these. So, perhaps John is wise to keep his words brief, in hopes that our imaginations will do the rest.
But even if we struggle to see this scene in our mind’s eye, let us hear, as clearly as we can, the witness about this crowd,
“they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'”
This is the testimony about those who came out of the great tribulation. And what have they to say?
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Let us hear, with ears to hear, this testimony today!
As hard as it might be to imagine this, I think it would do our souls good to try. And for those of you who, like me, might have some trouble imagining what this scene may have been like, I invite you to spend about 9 minutes witnessing and hearing a chorus of praise from around the world; a taste of what the Kingdom will someday be in full.
Christ Jesus, I confess with full communion of saints, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Holy Spirit, lead me to repeat this in my heart throughout the day.