“Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life’.”
~Revelation 21:6 (NRSV).
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city.”
~Revelation 22:1-2a (NRSV).
Just ponder the wondrous imagery that’s set before us... take some meditatively-conscious shut-eye and just think on it... this just has to be one of the most soothing concepts that could ever touch our innermost souls.
In it is one main premise: HOME.
This is simply no starry-eyed slant on dreamy religion; it’s the prophetic fact of John — the vision given to him as Revelation ends.
The End is Nigh
Not that we need to be the least bit bothered about the timing and circumstances of Christ’s return, we sure are running toward that direction — indeed, it’s blatantly inescapable for all.
As we reason with death this side of that quavering event — perhaps in light of close ones that make that journey before us — maybe we can ponder even more what the destination is actually like. It has to be incredible; so unlife-like in terms of this worldly reality, but really so very much more life-like. It’s a paradox of majesty; pure life-in-the-matter-of-physical-death itself. Thinking of ourselves as pure spirit, basking in the Presence of God; what would that truly be like?
But, then there is the Parousia — the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re running fast in that direction too.
Either way, in Christ, our destiny is assured.
More on That Vision
Can we for a moment gaze into the future, now with knowledge of that resplendent vision of John’s?
As the thirsty, we stand to be gifted water from the very Spring of Life.
We can perhaps also gaze back at the vision of Ezekiel (chapter 47) where that water flowed fructifying the entire land. We imagine this river running right through the middle of the New Jerusalem; freely accessible to all.
In such a City of God’s, there is no darkness and no sun — just light from God (Revelation 22:5). This is one profound clue to the absolute other-worldly reality that will exist for us in eternity at the behest of God Almighty alone.
Walking through the ‘streets with no name’ we’ll be captivated in ways that cannot compare with the captivation that often ensnares us of this world. We’ll be captivated in genuine wonder, excitement and in the uttermost purity — a safety we can depend on. No captivation will hold us against God.
It will be a completely worshipful captivation — and it will last forever!
And finally, it will make our journey here on earth meaningful and worthwhile.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
General Reference: Christopher C. Rowland, The Book of Revelation: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections – New Interpreter’s Bible (Vol. XII) (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1998), p. 724.