A few days ago I said I would start blogging through the book of Revelation, pointing out those most pastoral encouragements and exhortations from the risen Lord and his apostle John. I acknowledge that Revelation is an apocalyptic book, of course, but it is also an epistle, and I know I often miss that part when I read through this letter. This is an attempt to correct that mistake.
In Revelation 1, John sees the Lord on the Lord’s Day, and the first thing he says about this vision is “I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,” and then he goes on to describe the One he saw. For a few verses nothing is said about the lampstands, and Jesus exhorts John and commissions him to write. Then, almost as an aside, Jesus tells John that the lampstands are the seven churches.
OK, cool. And the image of lampstand makes sense, right? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” and all that. Jesus declares the church to be the light of the world, and Paul tells Philippi to shine like stars in the universe.
But what amazes me about the way this is written is that the risen Christ walks among the churches. Jesus is risen (hallelujah!), but he is still in the midst of his church. Jesus ascended to the Father, but he didn’t leave his church. The one like a son of man still walks among his lampstands.