Ascension Lutheran Church

Daily Devotions

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"Happily Ever After" Oct. 31, 2023

Revelation 7:9-10, 13-17 - After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" ... Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

The aftermath of the Vietnam War was a terrible time for families. My husband was separated from his family by going to a prison camp, becoming a boat person, and then living on the other side of the world as a refugee. It was twenty years before he saw his oldest sister again—the one who raised him like a mother.

Can you imagine the looks on their faces when they finally saw each other again?

The tears. The delight. The overwhelming joy that couldn't express itself in words. That's the kind of thing that is going on in this picture of Jesus and His people, reunited at last in God's kingdom.

Of course they shout! Of course they fall down before Him! Some kinds of love and joy need your whole voice, your whole body, to express. And they have reason to celebrate—for as the elder tells John, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

These are Jesus' people, made pure by Jesus' blood. He has rescued them from all death and evil and brought them safely home to His Father's house. And now they see Him face to face. How can they not celebrate? Truly, as Jesus says on another occasion, "If these were silent, the very stones would cry out!" (Luke 19:40b)