Blessed Are Those Who Read and Hear
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3
We all include in our prayers requests for blessings, for ourselves and others. We pray for blessings of healing, financial health, work, protection against disease, protection over our children and loved ones, and so on. Here, in the opening words of the Book of Revelation, God offers a blessing “to the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy.” In other words, John expected that his book would be read aloud by the pastors to their congregations during their meeting or worship service. They would be blessed if they did so.
John also promised a blessing to those who “hear and who keep what is written.” Indeed, what good is it to proclaim God’s Word if there is no one to hear it? And what good is it to hear unless it is hearing God’s Word? God blesses both devout proclamation and devout hearing of His Word.
What John said about his book of Revelation applies to all of Scripture. God wants it read and heard during the gatherings of His people. What a shame when this is not done. Many churches today busily design their own independent worship services, including all kinds of experimental things from sofa talks, to short plays, to film clips, to puppet shows. But does the reading aloud of God’s Word, and the hearing of that Word, stand out as the prominent feature of the service? If not, those people are missing out on the blessing God has promised to those who read and hear. Remember this blessing promised by John the next time the Old Testament lesson, or the Epistle, or the Gospel seem too long! Remember this promise of blessing during Lent when those long readings of the Passion history take place. Blessing! Blessing from God just for sitting and attentively listening! Make sure your church, wherever, whatever it may be, is allotting enough time during worship for the public reading of the Scriptures. That church will be blessed.
Do you need a blessing today? Find the proclamation of God’s Word, hear it, and take it to heart.