Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed[a] with seven seals; 2 and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
God created humans. At least that seems to be at the core of our beliefs. Outside of the duck-billed platypus (which seems to be something that could only be created by a committee) the human is the most interesting of created things. What makes us so interesting (outside of something like, say, the feet) is how our brains think. I will say this: some brains do NOT think. Other brains think too much. Both are not good.
Take, for example, the golf swing. On a typical drive, you have to keep your head still, swing inside out, shift your weight forward, follow through, swing hard, but not swing too hard, rotate your hips, and finish high. The human brain cannot process all of these thoughts in the 3.1 seconds it takes to swing. And if you take LESS than 3.1 seconds, your shot is bad. If you take more, your shot is bad.
Take, for example, the golf swings of your two pastors. (And NOW I’ve gone to meddling...) One of them is smooth and powerful, the product of the best instruction his father’s money can buy. The other one is not so smooth but a bit more muscular and HIS father couldn’t have cared less about a golf swing! But on any given day, on any given shot, on any given golf course, the second guy could be far better than the first. On top of that, I LOVE playing golf with both of them.
The human brain makes the human body fallible. Of course human genetics do the same thing. So what do humans do? We take other fallible humans and name buildings, awards, foundations, colleges, and movements after them. For some of them, we make statues. Then, when we find out the truth about them, we find ourselves in a pickle...which I’ve already stated tastes just awful. That’s the REASON it’s called a “pickle.” In the last few weeks, statues of Robert E. Lee (I was born on his birthday), Jefferson Davis, Christopher Columbus, and Jerry Richardson have all been taken down. They all represent times in our society and history when humans were not what humans should be. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone to ever make a statue of me!
So in Revelation, when God’s plan (scroll) which would bring about the end of everything evil and restore God’s people was presented, no one was found worthy to open it. The author of Revelation cried. Who could be worthy to open it? The answer, of course, is the answer to every question asked of children in church: Jesus! The Lion of Judah. The root of David. (OMG, Judah and David were NOT stellar figures of the Old Testament...but David does have a couple of statues....)
In these days, dear people, we are fallible and ordinary. We are given the extraordinary task of surviving a pandemic. To mask or not to mask? To quarantine or not to quarantine? To listen or not to listen to the experts? To kill or not to kill? To put others at risk or say the risk is not there? But the ONE who was worthy to open the scroll, the ONE who holds the keys of hell and death, the ONE who is first and last says that we had better love; that we had better do to others as we would like them to do to us; that we should consider the cost of doing what is right. So when I’m looking for ways to get fallible and ordinary humans through extraordinary times, I’m looking at the ONE who was worthy to open the scrolls. Before this pandemic is over, we’re all going to have to sacrifice and wait and be patient and love. I think this is what the ONE would have us do.
Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen;
Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon thee lean.
Pastor Rick Moser