In 2004, I did my daily Bible reading from The Message Remix (The Bible in Contemporary Language) by Eugene H. Peterson. I read through the whole Bible once and the New Testament twice that year and got a few sneers that I was in a paraphrase rather than a "true translation," but I'll tell you this: no one I know enjoyed their time in the Bible every single day as much as I did that year! Mr. Eugene Peterson has a great way with words, phrases, and insights!
One thing I really enjoyed was reading the book of The Revelation of Jesus in a whole new light. I have read it for years focusing on the beast and the number of the beast and the White Horse and Rider – trying to figure out what it all means and being a little afraid that I was gonna be the one stupid Christian who didn't discern something right and got "left behind!"
The following is the introductory essay to Revelation from The Message and it inspired me to read this book with a fresh focus on worship. I haven't thrown away the prophetic significance, but I see a whole new kaleidoscope of meaning when I realize that what John was seeing was worship that was out of this world! Consider this explanation of Revelation:"The Bible ends with a flourish: vision and song, doom and deliverance, terror and triumph. The rush of color and sound, image and energy, leaves us reeling. But if we persist through the initial confusion and read on, we begin to pick up the rhythms, realize the connections, and find ourselves enlisted as participants in a multi-dimensional act of Christian worship. John of Patmos, a pastor of the late first century, has worship on his mind, is preeminently concerned with worship. The vision, which is The Revelation, comes to him while he is at worship on a certain Sunday on the Mediterranean Island of Patmos. He is responsible for a circuit of churches on the mainland whose primary task is worship. Worship shapes the human community in response to the living God. If worship is neglected or perverted, our communities fall into chaos or under tyranny. Our times are not propitious for worship. The times never are. The world is hostile to worship. The Devil hates worship. As The Revelation makes clear, worship must be carried out under conditions decidedly uncongenial to it. Some Christians even get killed because they worship. John's Revelation is not easy reading. Besides being a pastor, John is a poet, fond of metaphor and symbol, image and allusion, passionate in his desire to bring us into the presence of Jesus believing and adoring. But the demands he makes on our intelligence and imagination are well rewarded, for in keeping company with John, our worship of God will almost certainly deepen in urgency and joy." Eugene H. Peterson, The Message//Re-mix, emphasis, mine
Read The Revelation again (a little light, summer reading,), but read it like a worshiper and let it shape your response to our living and loving God!
He is so worthy of our praise – Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: You, LORD, are worthy of my worship, but may my worship be pleasing to You. You are my Light and my Salvation, You who have blood-washed the sin from my life and called me out of darkness into Your glorious light. You and You alone are holy, righteous and true. Take all the honor, LORD, all the blessing, all the glory – they are Yours. Today, I want to sing along with the mass voices of heaven, salvation and glory and honor and power, Yours forever. "The reason I live is to worship You…"