Frank Macchia on Rev 5:13-14

Frank Macchia offers here a

Palm Sunday Reflection:

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev. 5:13-14)

This passage in chapter 5 of Revelation depicts all of creation implicitly exalting the Lamb of God as the place where God reveals wounded and suffering love for the sake of redemption and liberation. This text occurs at the front of the book, just before John reports on the riders that will bring the violence of the nations to expression, spreading plague and death (which opens the very next scene in ch.6). The readers of chapter 6 are meant to ponder: What will make the violence against the earth so egregious is the fact that the creation is already devoted to the Lamb and the Lamb is already exalted as its God-intended destiny. Though bruised and wounded by violence, the creation according to Revelation will surely rise again in fulfillment of its long-standing song of praise to the Lamb. The violent forces of antichrist will attempt to seize Lordship but will not succeed, for God will act decisively to put an end to the forces that seek to destroy the earth (11:18). The praise of creation will not be silenced by the madness of violence and will end up having the final word! Think on this: Palm Sunday led to crucifixion but resurrection was on the horizon. Crucifixion was not able to silence the authentic praises of Palm Sunday. So also in this present age: The violence will not be able to overthrow the reality that praise affirms and prophetically grasps. Praise and protest connect and nourish one another. To those who suffer from violence: Keep singing. Your praises will have the final word, not only in the eschaton, but right now as a light that shines in darkness, as a witness to human dignity and its destiny in God.


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