The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)
Cruel persecutions from Roman emperors cause the blood of early Christians to flow on the ground of the Coliseum. How true the saying of Tertullian is: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians”! Overwhelmed by the tide of evil from this Empire, John receives visions of its ultimate downfall about Babylon, image of Rome.
Arrogance and pride find vicious voice in the expressions of Babylon. However, equally horrific is the fall of the empire of evil. Such visions gave hope to the sufferings of early Christians. May the same be true for you, when evil rises as a tide against you. Believe that the victory has already been won in the blood of the Lamb.
Do you find similarities that contemporary economic and political structures have with Babylon? All systems that stand in the temple of God’s presence boasting in Pharisaic arrogance are doomed to fall. No more music from them!
O God, I fly to Your side. v. 4
Mighty is the Lord our God. v. 8
Spirit, I long for Your fruits. v. 14
I rejoice in Your judgments. v. 20
This is the ninth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.