Revelation 5:11-14 (NRSV)
Verse 11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, Verse 12singing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" Verse 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" Verse 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Of all the things that we have missed most through the pandemic I would say that it has been the sound of voices raised in song. Christians have historically “sung” into the face of pain, oppression, and trouble. An airborne contagion took away the voice of my own defiance and kept it away because it imperiled my neighbor! How cruel to have this tool of faith taken from us!
So, as we now emerge from pandemic mode, I hear this verse from Revelation differently. I always imagined a Bach chorale in it, a glorious sonorous song of praise of the heavenly voices. But now, oh to hear ALL the voices again!—the warbling soprano in the choir; the tone-deaf “groaning along” in the pews; the saints in light with their angelic tones; the pure, high voice of a child!
Every creature, every voice, raising praise to the living God! A beautiful cacophony!
Blessing, honor, glory, and praise, to you, Oh Lord, our voices raise! In the clatter and in the snort, may we sing your praises forth. Amen.