The Holy One

Ezekiel, Isaiah, and now John, all get a vision of the divine in its habitation, the throne room. Chapter 4 of the Apocalypse is a great announcement that God alone is ruler of heaven and earth, nature and humanity, and church. The vision begins with an open door. The living one who opens and shuts, calls out to John and calls forth the vision. “One” is seated on the throne. After all the christological¬†consolidation in the first three chapters, John telescopes those ideas into his theocentric¬†vision, that God is indeed “One” and that God calls into being time and place, nature and humanity, and assembles the whole creation into “church.” The 24 elders that surround the throne, like the Alpha and the Omega, are symbols of time as the day is long. That they are dressed in white and gold may mean that John is trying to express that in the presence of the divine, time, history is blessed, different, transcendent. The sea is the ancient enemy of the divine, and now it lies stretched out before the throne. Even the enemy submits to the divine in the new creation. The four creatures full of eyes are constantly alert, watching over the nature and humanity. Lion and ox are land creatures, the eagle is the air creature, man is humanity, night and day mean ceaselessly. The vision says that God rules over sea and land and air. God rules over creation and history. John uses the only paradigm he has to describe the vision of the throne room. It is like the church. John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” when he had his vision. He is proclaiming in this vision that the church is one, that it includes all creation, and that it is constantly vigilant and at prayer. In the presence of the divine One, the church finds its unity. The final part of the vision describes the dialogue of worship, the exchange among the assembled, confessing that the holy one created all things, and all things exist and were created by the will of the holy one. The vision is given in five parts, One God, one history, one world, one church, one worship. This theocentric vision will direct the rest of the revelation to come. In many ways this chapter is a complete summary of the book. The one who sits on the throne calls forth a new creation.

This entry was posted in Meditations, Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s