"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!" Revelation 5:12

The Book of Revelation is not a book of prophecy as many people believe and teach. It is a book written to give encouragement to early Christians who were being persecuted by the Roman State. The Book seeks to convey a message of hope to the Christians and informs them that they will triumph over the forces of evil. It is of interest to note that during the Easter Season the second New Testament Lesson comes from the Book of Revelation. Why? It complements the Easter message of God’s triumph and victory over the forces of evil in the person Of Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading invites Christians to praise the Lamb. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!" In the Book of Revelation the Lamb is the favourite and most widely used title for Jesus Christ.; actually, it is used 29 times. In this Book, the Lamb is always the Crucified and Risen Saviour. The Lamb is worthy of praise because he was slain and by his death he has won for us our salvation. Not only do the angels praise the Lamb, the whole creation joins in the praise of the Lamb. “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!" The one who sits upon the throne is God; the Father and the Son are given the same honour and worship.

Today’s reading from the Book of Revelation invites us to praise the Lamb for what he has done. He is to be praised for his sacrifice which has made our redemption a reality. In John’s Gospel he is described as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

The invitation to praise the Lamb does not refer to a spontaneous outpouring of joy; it is a summons to worship the Lamb who was slain for us. The Psalmist cries: “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord’ (Psalm 150:6). In praising God we acknowledge his goodness and love, speak of his majesty, celebrate his almightiness and worship him. Today we sing God’s praises for raising Jesus Christ from the dead to be our Saviour, Redeemer and Liberator. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!"

The text suggests that the angels have no problems in worshipping the Lamb. They offer him their worship, burn incense in his honour and sing his praises. Without any restraint they give him the honour and respect due to him. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!"

Most of us have no problems in praising God; like the angels we can sing “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!" But, when it comes to giving praise to people it becomes a difficulty. The Easter message of praise cannot be restricted to God alone; it must also relate to our brothers and sisters.

We find it difficult to praise people for their achievements and accomplishments in life. We fail at times to give people the respect and honour due to them. Our society finds it easier to destroy and pull down people than to praise them for their efforts. There is an underlying fear that if we praise people and acknowledge their achievements, accomplishments and successes, it will make us less than equal and diminish our social standing. We fail to praise our fellow citizens because we believe it will push them up the social ladder at our expense. In many instances our inability to applaud people’s triumphs has its genesis in jealousy, envy and pride. In our Barbadian society it is also generated by foolish partisan politics, social class distinctions, gender, education, religion and the like. This problem affects our human relationships and creates problems in our families, churches, schools, work places and the society at large. It is to be found in all sectors of our society and daily manifests itself in negative comments and gross disrespect. As a result, some of our people are fearful of sharing their skills and experiences out of fear that they will be rejected or rebuffed. Some of our sons and daughters are afraid to return to their hometown, they do not know what await them. Jesus encountered this problem and he was moved to say “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."

I would like to suggest that Easter, a season of joy, life, happiness and peace, invites us to see the good in all people and not to dwell on that which is bad. In every person’s life there are dark spots, known and unknown. All of us have our shortcomings. We must overcome the tendency to give prominence to that which is evil at the expense of the good. The challenge Easter presents to us is to see the good in people and accentuate it, to praise that which is good. There is some element of good in every man and woman, every boy and girl; we must have the courage to praise the good in people and in a spirit of love seek to change that which is evil. Do not dwell on people’s evil; always praise that which is good in them. It does not mean we close our eyes to evil; it means we emphasise that which is good in a spirit of thankfulness.

The concept of praise and honour is an essential teaching of the church and has biblical backing. The Book of Wisdom says “Let us now praise famous men.”  In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes: “Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due.”  St. Peter says: “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.”

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!"

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.

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