Last week our church – Christ the King – started a new series in the book of Revelation. We will be covering the entire epic over the next 6-7 months. It’s an ambitious series and I’ve got mad props for our pastor for tackling it. If you’ve never studied, or worshipped, your way through this wonderful book then I would recommend checking out our sermon podcast and following along with our worship guides!
The artwork for the series (above) is from Erik Newby one of our church’s designers and includes the ENTIRE book of Revelation as the background text. It’s inspired by the beginning and ending sentiments of this book – that behind all of the wonderful, mysterious and tragic images of Revelation the WORD is sure and reigning and victorious. “1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” cf. 22:18.
As we move through this series I want our people to feel like they are entering into the realities of the text in our services so we are beginning and ending each service with the words of Revelation.
Call to Worship: Revelation 1:4-8
Leader: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead,
and the ruler of kings on earth.
People: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father,
to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Leader: Behold, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him,
and all tribes of the earth will cry out on account of him.
All: Even so. Amen.
Leader: He is the Alpha and the Omega,
People: Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
*Valediction: Revelation 22: 7,12-13,14,
Leader: Behold, Jesus is coming soon.
People: Blessed is the one who keeps the words of this book.
Leader: Behold! He is coming soon to judge the earth with righteousness and truth.
People: He is the Alpha and the Omega,the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Leader: Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
People: The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”
And let the one who is thirsty come;
Let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Leader: He is coming soon.
People: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
*We are using a valediction during the Revelation series as a riff on the ‘letter’ motif and an intentional way of acknowledging the horizontal aspects of our fellowship in Christ.
Here are a few songs we plan on singing during this series.
Song of Ascents – Ancient of Days (sadler)
(we will open with a shortened version of this song every week)
Songs of Praise – All Things New (Red Mountain), Crown Him with many Crowns, Holy, Holy, Holy, Revelation Song (Riddell), Lord enthroned in heavenly Splendor (Hicks), The Lamb Has overcome (Morton), and many more!
While my pastor is tackling all of the heavy commentaries I always try to read a few devotional books to inform/supplement my service planning. Here are two books I have been particularly excited about.
Eugene Peterson –Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination. 1991 Harper
“The inability (or refusal) to deal with St. John, the poet, is responsible for most of the…misuse of the book.”
“God devoted the last book in his Bible to poetry.”
Robert Coleman – “Songs of Heaven,” 1981; republished “Singing with the Angels” 1998.
A devotional Bible study on the praise and worship songs of the Book of Revelation.