Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

during the years i taught scripture to adults—
i would tell them this is my favorite book
and for that lesson i would play handel’s messiah:
this is what revelation would sound like if put to music
the alleluia chorus got king george to stand up
but this . . .
this is adoration in D major
then  i would sit down . . .
worthy is the lamb hung in the silence 
as if the voices’ trumpet was praying
and it was
i would close my eyes
both lost and found until the end . . .
now that is the book of revelation
i would end the class with my own theory
the new testament needed the liturgical pulse of the psalms 
singing how long o Lord how long
singing praise and adoration under the branding iron of rome
today it still sings

—Sr. Lou Ella Hickman