The Loud Voice Like a Trumpet (Revelation 1:10-11)
By: Cara Meredith
On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” - Revelation 1:10-11
A couple of weeks ago, I stole into the forest for a few hours to hike. There weren’t very many people on the trail, as nearby parks have intermittently been closed throughout the global pandemic. But as another woman approached me on the trail, I felt my heart race. Shivers, like goosebumps, scaled up my arms. A niggling voice that wasn’t audible as much as it was pressing, breathed into my soul and into those deep places that can’t always be put into words.
It was like she and I were supposed to talk to one another on the trail that day, for ours was a kind of Holy Spirit encounter, perhaps not unlike the one John speaks of in the book of Revelation. Because when we stopped, said hello and looked at one another in the eyes (six feet apart, of course), I knew I was leaning into physical prompting that came straight from God down to me – our encounter most divine.
Sometimes, when I dive into the book of Revelation, I can’t help but wonder what John the writer heard that prompted him to write a letter to the seven churches in the province of Asia. He writes that he was in the Spirit, when he heard behind him a “loud voice like a trumpet” (10). Some theologians say that John was in the most holy of trances, while others (including many of the early church fathers, such as Ignatius, Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria), state that “the Lord’s Day” referred not to tribulation, per say, but to the first day of the week.
Regardless, this was a loud, horn-like sound. While we don’t know if musical notes blasted from heavenly skies, if an audible voice actually sounded, or if the physical presence within John’s body merely felt like the brassy tones of a trumpet, all we know for sure is that the notes on that day’s holy music score were clear.
For me, as someone who doesn’t tend to meet God in the noise as much as in the quiet of forests and darkened cathedrals, I am encouraged perhaps now more than ever before. That day on the trail, I didn’t so much hear the vibrant blast of a trumpet on the trail as much as I felt it rumble and roll around within me – but I can be certain that the blast was the Lord’s. And you and me both can know that this blast will continue to make its way known, extending to “Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea” (11), and ultimately, beyond.
So, tell me, what does the trumpet sound like in your life? Even if the sound in your heart feels rather muted compared to some of your brothers and sisters, it’s the sound of the Lord, nonetheless – this voice an invitation to lean into the holy music of God, whether on forest trails, in coffee shops or under archaic cathedral ceilings alike.
After all, the trumpeting Spirit of God beckons speak to us all.
Cara Meredith is a freelance writer and the author of The Color of Life. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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