Advent: Day 10

Daily Office Lections: Amos 7:10-17; Revelation 1:9-16; Matthew 22:34-46

In today's pericope, we get a glimpse of the glory of the King for whom we wait, the One "who is and who was and who is to come" (Revelation 1:8); and a glimpse of the One whom we worship at present. That we are in the presence of this Jesus when we gather at the altar is at the heart of the liturgical vision for All Souls and, moreover, at the heart of all Christian living.

The Apostle John, part of the inner circle of the Twelve, who was just a young man when he began to follow Jesus (perhaps just a teenager) is now an old man living in exile on "the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 1:9). Revelation was written, in all likelihood, around 90--95AD. Thus, John has this apocalyptic vision sixty-plus years after the resurrection of our Lord.

John writes that he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," that is, on a Sunday, the day on which Jesus rose from the dead. He is instructed by a voice to write seven letters to seven churches. There are a lot of "sevens" in this passage and throughout the book of Revelation (and throughout the Bible). The number seven in Holy Scripture denotes fullness or completeness. Thus, the seven churches point beyond themselves to the entire Church.

John turns to see who is speaking to him, and he sees the Risen and Glorified Jesus, "one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest" (Revelation 1:13). "Son of Man" is a reference to the vision of Daniel, where the Messiah is exalted to the right hand of God. Jesus is vested in a long robe and golden sash. The scene is priestly, regal, and, of course, prophetic.

The Lord Jesus is radiant, literally. His hair is white as snow and his eyes are like a flame of fire. "His face [is] like the sun shining in full strength" (Revelation 1:16). And if this is the One arriving, how ought we to conduct ourselves?

In Advent, we are preparing for his arrival in three senses: liturgically, sacramentally, and eschatologically. Liturgically, we are preparing for the celebration of his birth on December 25th; to glory in the mystery of the Incarnation. Sacramentally, we are being further prepared to behold the Lamb of God in the Holy Eucharist. Eschatologically, we are preparing for Christ’s arrival at the end of the age, for his Second Coming.

So let us meditate upon the Crucified, Risen, and Glorified Jesus so that we may worship him with awe and reverence, and that by the radiance of His glory we might be glorified ourselves. For in his light we see light (Psalm 36:9).