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Revelation 22:1-6



Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

(verses 1-5)

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Water, clear as crystal, is such a powerful picture of life and vitality and refreshment. Living water is what Jesus promised the woman at the well, water that would never leave her thirsty, water that would spring up within her, welling up to eternal life. This is that water.


In the Temple, on the last great day of the Feast, Jesus had stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38). By this he referred to the Spirit who would be given to all who believe. This, now, is that same water, flowing full and deep.


The prophet Ezekiel, earlier, had seen a vision of water, increasing in flow and depth, pouring out from the Temple of God itself, flowing from the Lord’s very presence, full of such life that it could turn salt-water to fresh that would teem with fish and living creatures of all kinds, providing constant nurture to trees growing on its banks that would yield fruit every month, their leaves providing healing (Ezekiel 47). This, now, is that same water.


All of it is reminiscent of the river flowing in the Garden of Eden, breaking into four headwaters that gave life to the surrounding world. In that same Garden grew the Tree of Life. Here, now, in this heavenly vision, the river flows and that Tree flourishes. The vastness of God’s blessing is experienced, full and complete. Every curse is removed, every element of sickness and wounding is forever healed.


In the centre of it all we see the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, enthroned forever and ever, their very presence being the source of this ongoing blessing. Their presence radiates such light that none other is needed – indeed, it guards against any possibility of darkness, making for perpetual day.


We, ourselves, redeemed by the Lamb, are drawn right into that centre. We meet him face to face, basking in his glory, seeing in his eyes the tangible depth of his love. In fact, we are so embraced that his name itself is written on our foreheads. We are his own!


And so we say, together with John, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”


The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

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Dear Lord Jesus, come. Bring your river of life. Your Kingdom come. Amen.

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Receive:

The river of the water of life flows from the throne, right down the middle of the great street of the city. That water is now here by his Spirit. Give thanks. Receive the fresh flow of his presence. Welcome the Spirit of Jesus.

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Photo by Mark McGregor on Unsplash

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