The revelation given to John begins with an awesome image of Jesus. It is not an image of the babe of Bethlehem, or the one who turned water into wine, or the one who healed the ill and embraced the outcast, or the one who was rejected by religious authorities and crucified by the powers political. The image is of Jesus the Christ, Jesus raised and reigning over all history with all honour, glory and authority (Revelation 1:12-16). It is an image of assurance and encouragement given to a generation of Christians who were suffering an eruption of evil, asking about the presence and relevance of the One they worshipped.
Perhaps of most assurance and encouragement was the fact that this Jesus was found in the midst of seven candlesticks. The candlesticks were well-accepted symbols of the churches, the seven churches of Asia to whom John passed on this image of Jesus. This vision reminds those Christians that the Lord of all history is found not in corridors of palace or majesty of temple or influence of market, but with them, dis-spirited, weak and faithless as they are. There Jesus the Christ stands. Here he stands. With us. Now.
To make the image even more personal, the great German artist Albrecht Durer carved himself into the scene. You may think that is John kneeling before the One like a son of man, but it is Durer, with his own hooked nose! With John, with Durer, with so many before us and around us, we are invited this Sunday to gather in worship of the One who not only lives and reigns above, but is with us and for us in our churches.
If you are in the area, please join us in the worship of God this Sunday. Have a look at the Order of Worship below. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. And lots of free parking on the street and in the city lot off Queen Street just behind the church.