Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Remember the idea that you have to take up playing the harp when you die? Revelation 14:1-5 could give you that idea unless you looked carefully. But first, this is the New Testament reading for the Holy Innocents, Martyrs. Why would someone pick this passage? Not because the small children had not defiled themselves with women. Rather, because their sin had nothing to do with their death. They hadn't engaged in criminal activity. Two year olds may act in a criminal manner at times, hiding things and defacing other things. But they are just acting like any other human - self-centered. They aren't as sophisticated as adults about their crimes. And their crimes are generally less harmful to society than those crimes of adults.
The small children were taken away and killed. It wasn't their fault. They bore a sinful human nature, but even that didn't lead to Herod's abduction and execution order. Herod did it because of his sin, not because of theirs.
These people who have died are presented before the Lord in heaven. They are singing a song that only they are allowed to sing. In fact, this is a time when, though the angels are certainly present, they are not singing. The humans are singing. Their song is about the Lamb of God who has redeemed them. It's a beautiful song. It tells about life, real life.
To wrap us up, though, what's the thing with the harp? I'll counter with a question. Why do people have a problem with harp playing? The harp is a simplified version of a guitar. Rather than having to adjust where we put our fingers down, we choose the right strings to pluck. Would you feel better if you needed to take up playing the guitar after you died? Here, though, notice that the voice sounds like harps. It's the song, not the accompaniment. The description is of beautiful, wonderful music. That's what we get to participate in and hear in eternity. So you can stick that into your capo and strum with it a little.
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