"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Children’s Talk: Easter 3 “and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb…”

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“…each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8)

We are reading through the last book in the Bible, name? Revelation, or the Revelation of John. It is a book that is mostly full of the visions that John had of heaven, God and Jesus. Because these are things that were really beyond a human ability to describe, John uses lots of strange images to attempt to explain the things that God is showing him.

We use a lot of symbols in our community to remind us of things about God. Does someone have an example of a symbol? What symbols can you see around you right now?

Well, today John is recounting a vision of heaven, and what he seals is a roll of paper with very special information written on it, and an angel asks a question of all creation: who is worthy to open the scroll? John begins to cry because no one is worthy. But, one of the people in heaven says to John, Don’t cry, there is someone who can open the scroll. What he says to John is this: beyond the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll. Do you have any idea who the person is describing? The Lion of the tribe of Judah is Jesus. And then John sees a vision of, not a lion, but a lamb that has been slain who takes the scroll. Then all of the angels and people standing around John fall to the floor in front of this lamb and worship.

This is a picture from a very old church in Rome of what John is describing, and you can see the lamb sitting upon a golden throne, and before the lamb is the scroll.


Now you may have noticed another symbol happening behind me – in this smoke rising up. I have an incense burner behind me that is burning special incense, frankincense and rose. We don’t use incense in our church that often, but it is an important symbol and has been used in churches since before Jesus was born. When those people fall down before the lamb, there are 24 of them holding golden bowls, and the golden bowls are full of incense causing smoke. The smoke is the prayers of the saints rising before the throne of the Lamb.

This is the image I want to leave with you, because what John is describing is pretty important to us. Have you ever prayed? We pray here in church, and we are all asked to pray all the time as people who follow Jesus. Have you ever wondered what those prayers look like when they reach God? John tells us here that our prayers: my prayers and your prayers, when they reach God are like bowls full of incense being burned in front of God. It is important to remember that whenever you feel like nothing is going right, that each of you can bring that incense before our God just by praying. So let’s pray.

(I don’t normally post children’s talks because I do most of them extemporaneously…and you can never tell what direction they will go so scripts are often useless.  This one is a really good point for everyone to consider, as it really struck me today reading John’s Revelation.)

Image: Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) Unknown Artist 7th century Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano Roma (Province of Roma. Lazio Region) ITALY


Written by sameo416

April 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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