A reading from the Book of Revelation Rev.7:2-4, 9-14.
I, John, saw another angel coming up from the east with the seal of the living God. God had given 4 angels power to destroy the earth and the sea. The angel shouted out in a powerful voice to the 4 angels, “Do not damage the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we mark the servants of God with oil on their forehead.” And I heard the number of those sealed 144,000. They were from the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then I looked and there were many people – so many, no one could count all the people. They were from every nation, race, family and language. They stood in front of the throne, in front of the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands, singing “Victory to our God sitting on the throne and to our Lamb.”
All the angels stood round the throne, the elders and the four living creatures. Then they all bowed down in front of the throne and worshiped God. They said, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and strength belong to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
One of the elders asked me, “Who are these people in white robes? Where do they come from?” I answered, “I don’t know. You tell me.” He said to me, “These are the people that suffered terribly; they patiently suffered discrimination. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb.”
The word of the Lord