9 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb!”
11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 For this reason they are before the throne of God
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
16 They will hunger no more and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat,
17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes
We wait during the season of Advent for one more celebration of Christmas. We wait through the turmoil of criticism, callous behavior, anger, violence, and even the shadow of death in the present, hoping for something better to come. And then, sometimes just briefly, the reminder of the birth of Christ brings us peace, joy, and contentment.
Keep us ever vigilant, God of our lives, hoping for the day when every tear will be wiped away and waiting will no longer be necessary. Until then, give us one more blessed Christmas. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.