Morning Prayer: 30 Sept – Revelation 10:8-11 ~ sweet and bitter

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 10:8-11 (ESV) – to be read aloud

Bible in Latin (1150-1200) Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 16744 Description : Capucins. Provenance : bnf.fr Date de mise en ligne : 25/10/2012

Latin Bible (1150-1200)
Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 16744
Description : Capucins.
Provenance : bnf.fr
Date de mise en ligne : 25/10/2012

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”

So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS

Interlude: The little scroll (10:8-11)

Overview: The effect of the interlude is to set off the seventh visitation as particularly important. We are all keyed up for the climax but it does not come. This is not simply a literary device, but part of life. We cannot predict how God’s judgements will work out. They take unexpected courses. There are delays which give opportunity for repentance.

Up until now, John has dealt with the fate of sinners during the days leading up to the climax. Now he turns to the church during that time. It has duties to perform and troubles to undergo. John warns it. (Morris, p.133)

Assimilation of the message: The symbol of eating the scroll is a natural one suggesting the complete assimilation of the prophetic message…. The word of God – the message of both salvation and judgement – must be ingested and personally assimilated by the prophet, as it must be by every servant of God who proclaims his word (see Ezek 3:3; Jer 15:16). (Ladd, p.146)

Sweet and bitter: The sweetness and bitterness refer to the two-fold reaction of the prophet as he digests his message and understands it. It is a sweet thing to be close to God, to be the recipient of his word. This is true of all believers…. But as John digested his message and pondered its implications, it became bitter in his stomach.

Here is an important truth for all who proclaim the word of God. The full counsel of God contains a word of judgement as well as mercy, and the messenger of the gospel must be faithful to both aspects of his message. But the man who knows the love of God and the compassion of Christ can never take delight in preaching the wrath of God or find satisfaction of spirit in proclaiming divine judgements. He must always do this with a broken heart, with a bitter spirit, following the example of his Lord who wept over those upon whom God’s judgement was to fall. (Ladd, p.147)

The entire civilized world: John’s prophecy relates to many peoples and nations. It is the final act in the great drama of God’s creative and redemptive activity. The meaning of history comes into sharp focus at the end point in time. John’s mission is to lay bare the forces of the supernatural world that are at work behind the activities of people and nations. His prophecy is the culmination of all previous prophecies in that it leads on to the final destruction of evil and the inauguration of the eternal state. (Mounce, p.211)
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Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
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Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



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