Enhanced Bible Reading
Here’s an idea that you can apply to almost any scripture reading used in worship. Take your favorite commentary and splice the commentators thoughts into the scripture text weaving them into a back-and-forth reading. In the following example we used “the People’s Bible on Revelation” (ISBN #075860453X), together with some of our original thoughts on Rev 5:11-14:
Reader 1: 11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
Reader 2: John’s vision must have been breathtaking! 10,000 x 10,000 = 100 million. Over ten times the population of New York City – and these were all angels circling around a throne.
Reader 1: 12In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Reader 2: In Jesus’ state of exaltation, he who was slain is worthy to receive these seven accolades (power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory & praise). All these things are put under His control. The last three words “honor, glory & praise” are now His in exchange for the shame and disgrace and ridicule which were heaped upon Him in His passion. This verse concludes the “song of the angels.” The heavenly song has reached its apex. Now all creation joins in the heavenly hymn.
Reader 1: 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Reader 2: What a moving and glorious expression of praise sung by all of God’s creation. John has now been witness to the fact that the divine purpose of God’s creation has been achieved. There is a great multitude of saved and sanctified people who, with the angels and all creation, shall praise God forever and serve Him in everlasting righteousness and blessedness.
Reader 1: 14The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Reader 2: With this “Amen”; one of the most powerful songs ever heard had come to a divine closure. These very words are the basis for Handel’s Messiah. We believers do not need a large amount of musical knowledge to be moved by this performance. How blessed we are that God has revealed that one day we will be part of the heavenly choir, privileged to bow down in the presence of the Lamb who sits upon the throne.