Morning Prayer: 21 Oct – Revelation 14:6-8 ~ last call

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 14:6-8 (ESV) – to be read aloud

 The Fall of Babylon  (Tapestry of the Apocalypse); Angers, France

The Fall of Babylon
(Tapestry of the Apocalypse); Angers, France

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

Impending Judgement Announced (14:6-13)

The tableau of the Lamb and his followers standing victorious on the heavenly Mount Zion is followed by a series of three angel proclamations (vv 6-11). These three are interrelated and progressive. The summons to worship the Creator (vv 6-7) leads to a prediction of the downfall of the great citadel of paganism (v 8) and then to a vivid portrayal of the torment awaiting all who worship the beast (vv 9-11). The unit is then brought to a close with a voice from heaven pronouncing blessed those who die in the Lord. (Mounce, p.269)

Call to Repentance (14:6-7)

The angel addressed himself not to the saints but to unbelievers…. In light of the angel’s proclamation that the end is about to take place and judgement is about to fall, men of all nations are summoned to repent. It is not yet too late; final judgement has not yet fallen; there is still time to turn in repentance and find the mercy of God. (Ladd, p.193)

The eternal gospel calls on people to fear and honor the Creator, for the hour of judgement is at hand. God has revealed himself in nature so that people are without excuse (Rom 1:19-20). To fear God is to reverence him; to give him glory is to pay him the respect and honor that is his due. (Mounce, p. 271)

Fall of Babylon (14:8)

Babylon… stands for the capital city of the final apostate civilization, the symbol of human society organized politically, economically, and religiously in opposition to and defiance of God…. Babylon has seduced all the nations by the enticements and allurements of her wealth and luxuries; but this cup of sensual delight will turn out to be the cup of God’s wrath. (Ladd, p.194)

Babylon is a symbol of the spirit of godlessness that in every age lures people away from the worship of the Creator. It is the “dark counterpart of Jerusalem,” the final manifestation of “secular humanism” in its attempt to destroy the remaining vestiges of true religion. Society set free from God is its own worst enemy. (Mounce, p.271)
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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.



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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