Scripture Reading — Revelation 1:1-5a
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come. . . — Revelation 1:4
Revelation is unique in the mix of the Bible’s 66 books. It comes as a surprise, a gift, a “revelation” from the same Jesus who came to be the Savior of the world (John 3:16-17). The timing of Revelation is important to its story.
Revelation is a gift to the first-century churches at a time when believers were feeling isolated and apart. Perhaps an example can help us appreciate this timing. When my parents immigrated from the Netherlands to Canada, they thought they might never see their family or close friends again. So letters from home became the ties that held loved ones together across a huge distance. When a letter came, everyone stopped what they were doing so they could read and savor what their loved ones far away had written.
Revelation is like a “letter from home” to church communities living in challenging times. At times the early church wondered why Jesus seemed so far away, especially as opposition and persecution increased in the Roman Empire.
Into this uncertainty Jesus sent his family members a message—through an angel, who visited John, one of Jesus’ closest followers. This letter sends greetings to everyone with “grace and peace” from him who is and was and is to come.
Today, listen to this greeting from the Lord, our Savior. We are not alone. He surrounds us with grace and peace and the promise of life with him forever.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your timely and comforting words of encouragement. Amen.