6 Then I saw another angel flying high overhead with eternal good news to proclaim to those who live on earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” 8 Another angel, a second one, followed and said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She made all the nations drink the wine of her lustful passion.” 9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them and said in a loud voice, “If any worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or their hands, 10 they themselves will also drink the wine of God’s passionate anger, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will suffer the pain of fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their painful suffering goes up forever and always. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, and those who receive the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for the endurance of the saints, who keep God’s commandments and keep faith with Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Favored are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them.” (Revelation 14:6-13, CEB)
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them.”
When you think of the eternal good news, what do you think of? Is it the same good news that “every nation, tribe, language, and people” would see? What to you is Babylon the great? What is the beast? Are the things we hold dear the same things that others hold in fear?
As we wait patiently in advent, we wait for different good news, news that is truly new. We wait for the promise of the end of suffering, fear, war, want. But we can’t only wait, as the Spirit says, because “their deeds follow them”. How can our deeds ease the wait of our neighbors and prepare the world for God’s Kingdom?