Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Rev22:21, lino print, by Tobias Mayer, 2023

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Revelation 22:20-21

The word Amen is used throughout the Old and New Testaments as both an affirmation and an expectation. The listener affirms the truth of the words just heard and expresses desire that the promise, prediction, or statement of intent will be swiftly fulfilled. The collective Amen is an expression of hope and togetherness,1 a word that brings the speaker and listeners together as one: one heart, one mind, under one God.

The Amen at the end of a prayer is the final word, an acknowledgement that nothing more needs to be said at that moment. Truth is expressed, and truth will be fulfilled. It is fitting then that the New Testament ends with this word, which validates all that is written before, and leaves us with a sense of certainty that the promise of a new human awakening will be fulfilled.

I'll end these reflections with the words of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew,2 the first book of the New Testament. This prayer emphasises the revolutionary nature of the coming kingdom,3 and reminds us, truly, and with certainty, that the events to come require both faith and footwork.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: 4
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.

1 The phrase And all the people shall say, Amen is introduced in the book of Deuteronomy in relation to the upholding of God's commandments. It is used twelve times in succession, each time deepening the collective agreement of the Israelites with their God. — Deuteronomy 27:15-26
2 Matthew 6:9-13
3 I recommend The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer by John Dominic Crossan, Bravo Ltd, 23/08/2011
4 The prayer actually ends here, the last two lines being added to the KJV translation as a way of giving form and completion to the prayer. Earlier Greek versions of Matthew do not contain these lines, and later translations omit them. I have left them here i) to be true to the King James version, and ii) so that this prayer may gracefully interleave with the final words of Revelation.