Morning Prayer: 25 Nov – Revelation 20:11-15 ~ the last judgement

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 20:11-15 (ESV) – to be read aloud

"The Last Judgement" by Viktor Vasnetsov 1904. Oil on canvas 690*700. Located in the Crystal Museum, St. George's Cathedral, Gus Khrustalny, Vladimir Region, Russia.

“The Last Judgement” by Viktor Vasnetsov 1904. Oil on canvas 690*700. Located in the Crystal Museum, St. George’s Cathedral, Gus Khrustalny, Vladimir Region, Russia.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Reflection

THE THIRD VISION (17:1-21:8)

The Final Victory (19:6-20:15)

The Last Judgement (20:11-15)

The Last Judgment Hans Memlinc Triptych, 1466-1473 National Museum, Gdańsk Poland

The Last Judgment, Hans Memlinc
Triptych, 1466-1473
National Museum, Gdańsk
Poland

The time has now come to judge the rest of the dead (v. 5). With this vision we close forever the chapter on sin and stand ready to enter the eternal state of glory. (Mounce, p. 374)

This is clearly the final judgement which decides the eternal destiny of men…. This passage takes us back to the first anticipation of the end at the opening of the sixth seal (6:12ff / Mat 24:29ff.) This describes a great cosmic convulsion when the sun became black, the moon became like blood, the stars fell, the sky vanished, and the mountains were shaken. This announcement of the end is now fulfilled in the statement of this passage.

The Last Judgement, mural from Voroneţ Monastery, Romania.

The Last Judgement, mural from Voroneţ Monastery, Romania.

Re-creation: Behind such statements is a profound theology. Earth was created to be the dwelling place of man, and man as a creature of God stands in solidarity with the rest of creation. Therefore, the created world is pictured as sharing the results of man’s sin, finding itself in bondage to decay, groaning and travailing until now (Rom. 8:19-22). The old order is a fallen order, laboring under the curse of man’s rebellion. Therefore, before the new redeemed order can be inaugurated, God’s judgement must fall upon the old order, but it is not one of destruction but the prelude to re-creation…. The old order passes away to make room for the new. (Ladd, p. 271-2)

The Book of Life: The New Testament is insistent on the justice of God’s final judgement in that it will not be arbitrary and capricious, but based squarely upon the deeds of men (Rom. 2:6ff.)…. It is significant [however] that this text does not intimate that anyone was saved on the basis of his good works…. If no one was saved by his works, there is yet another possibility: the book of life. This includes the names of all who have believed in Christ…. Salvation is to be found alone through the Lamb of God. (Ladd, p. 273-4)
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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
_____________________________________

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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