Year C – Seventh Sunday after Easter – Revelation 22:12–14, 16–17, 20–21

Rev 22:12–14, 16–17, 20–21 NRSV – 12  “See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 16 “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.  20 The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

Summary – Once again we are reminded twice here (v 12, 20) of the imminent (near in time) promise of the “coming” of Jesus. I believe this is the judgment promised in the destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD, Mt. 23:37ff) and other cataclysmic events that upset the world system of that day. These included the fall of the Julio-Claudian line of emperors of Rome & the civil war after Nero’s death about 68 AD. Yet the promise of the new creation and the new Bride extend from that time forward until the final Resurrection (including our time). The promise is that those who have cleansed robes (in Christ) can enter this Garden-City by the gates which are set in the foundation of the Apostles (doctrine, 21:14). There is also a plea to enter: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift…” So the call is to enter into this New Jerusalem coming from heaven, to be renewed in this new creation (2Co. 5:17) and to be part of this glorious Bride, the wife of the Lamb.

Insight – Either “in or out” – “with us or against us” – “fish or cut bait.” Once you read through the stark and sometimes frightening contrasts in Revelation it seems that there is no middle ground. You are part of those to be destroyed or those saved, following the Beast or the Lamb, you have number of the beast or not, an overcomer or an idolater, following the Harlot or part of the Bride, part of the new city or the world that is being destroyed. But do not lose the final message – let everyone who is thirsty come. It’s not too late. If you want to have this salvation provided by the slain Lamb of God who is a descendant of David, the morning star – just come. Like the old gospel song, Just as I am and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark spot, to Thee whose  blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come. Have you come to the Lamb of God by placing your trust in Him since He was slain on the cross and provides cleansing from all your sin?

Catechism – Who should come to Jesus? Everyone who is thirsty for the water of life.

Discussion – Why do you think the book ends with this call to come?

Prayer  – Mighty God,
in whom we know the power of redemption,
you stand among us in the shadows of our time.
As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life,
uphold us with knowledge of the final morning
when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son,
we will share in his resurrection,
redeemed and restored to the fullness of life
and forever freed to be your people. Amen.

GS

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