The lamp-stands represent the seven churches that John is going to send his book to. The stars represent the angels of the seven churches. It is not entirely clear what these angels are. Maybe they are the leaders of the churches. Or perhaps angels that have responsibility for each church.

The important thing that John sees is that Jesus is in the midst of these churches and holds their leaders in his hand. This is important because John was in exile because of his Christian testimony. The churches were having difficult times (read chapters 2 and 3). What might encourage christians who were being attacked and oppressed and maligned?

At the start a picture of the risen and glorious Jesus, standing with his churches, is a picture of great encouragement. There is more to come in the book of course. Much more to give hope and to encourage faithful persistence. But this is a good beginning.

It's a good picture for us to have in our minds too when we feel as though the church and our testimony is being swamped with ridicule and opposed with hatred. It is a good picture to encourage our prayers for brothers and sisters who are in real danger.