Toasting Jesus, During a Pandemic

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Rev. 1:5–6

Lord Jesus, John’s words have the feel of a toast to them. “To him who loves us . . .” Yet he wasn’t luxuriating at a family wedding in Hawaii. He was in exile on the Isle of Patmos, during a pandemic of evil.

His heart was bursting with awe and gratitude. By the eye of faith, he savored the Day when you will return for us—glorious Bridegroom for beloved Bride. Give us the same faith, joy, and hope—in our own pandemic, that’s feeling a bit “exilic.”

Help us grasp the implications of this one gigantic little phrase, “To him who loves us.” Every page of the Bible shadows, suggests, or shouts this astonishing declaration. You love us as no one else ever has, will, or can.

How fitting this “kiss of grace” would be found in the opening words to the concluding book of the entire Bible. What a glorious summation of your work on our behalf. What a magnificent affirmation of the central theme in the history of redemption: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Enlarge the chambers of our hearts to experience how wide, long, high, and deep your love for us is, Jesus (Eph. 3:18-19). Rescue us when other loves seem more appealing, necessary, or satisfying. Your Bride awaits your return. So very Amen we pray, in your beautiful and loving name.