How easy it is to become distracted, depressed, angry, and frustrated when looking out at our troubled and fallen world. The Apostle John in the book of Revelation offers us another alternative. It is to worship:
“To quicken [your] conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed [your] mind with the truth of God,
to purge [your] imagination by the beauty of God,
to open [your] heart to the love of God, and
to devote [your] will to the service of God.”
Eugene Peterson wrote an article back in 1991 in Christianity Today entitled: “Learning to Worship from Saint John’s Revelation.”
The parallel conditions in John’s decade and ours, the trivialization and tribulation, and his astonishingly focused and simple response, calling the people to worship, commends Revelation as a text for recovering the integrity of the gospel in a bad time.
Essentially, that is what Revelation is—an act of worship that calls others into the act of worship. On the first page we see John at worship, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (1:10). On the last page, we see John, momentarily distracted by the angel, commanded back to the center: “Worship God,” he is told (22:9). Between that first and last page we have scene after scene of robust worship—the sights and sounds pulling together everything in heaven and earth, in creation and Cross, in history and salvation—all involving us in worship.
But we are so easily distracted: distracted as easily by trivialization as by tribulation. John’s vision, if only we submit ourselves to it, is powerful enough to catch our attention and pull us back again to the main action, to the “God center.” It is imaginative enough to enlist our bodies, minds, and emotions in participation, to worship.”
As you study along with us this wonderful book, why not discipline yourself to read it with the above lens on so that you do not miss as Peterson says, “the God center.”