Friday, December 2nd. Revelation 22:1-9

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. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”


“See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”


I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me;

but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” Revelation 22:1-9


I grew up beside a river.  Three rivers actually.  Down beneath the main street bridge, the Bois De Sioux and the Otter Tail rivers converge to form the Red River of the North.  We swam in those rivers, caught fish, floated in the summer, skated in the winter, and every spring worried about how high the flood would be this time.


The Red River defined the boundary between North Dakota and Minnesota.  It created one of the best agricultural valleys in the world.  The truth is, without those rivers, there wouldn’t be a town.


First ports, then rivers, then railroads, then highways – human community needs the flow of transportation to flourish like an individual body needs steady flow of blood, the rhythmic beating of a heart, the inhalation of oxygen and the exhalation of carbon dioxide. 


Flow.  Balance.  Integration.  Connectedness.


It’s no surprise that John’s vision of heaven would be seen from the banks of a river.  Bright as crystal, lined with trees.  It is so human to define great communities by their temples of religion, industry, finance, and government.  It is so divine that life begins and ends in the flowing waters between the banks of rivers.


I read once that there is a finite amount of water in our earthly ecosystem.  The same water, used over and over again, cycled and recycled since the beginning of time.  We drink water that Jesus drank.  It is a wonderful vision to me to think that the great Red River of my childhood flows not to Canada but to heaven.


(Click on the lyrics to enjoy the song)


Shall we gather at the river,

where bright angel feet have trod,

with its crystal tide forever

flowing by the throne of God?


Yes, we’ll gather at the river,

the beautiful, the beautiful river;

gather with the saints at the river

that flows by the throne of God.


Let us pray:  Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful vision that brings light to our lives, that reminds us that you have prepared a future for those of us so worried about the future.  Thank you for the rivers that carry our lives.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


4 Responses to “Friday, December 2nd. Revelation 22:1-9”

  1. Hilda Says:

    “Shall We Gather at the River”, my late mother and grandmother’s most loved hymn. You just gave it very special meaning for me. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Love the Music. Anita and John

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I know you were speaking metaphorically, but the water in the Red River does evaporate into heaven, it seeps into the earth, it rolls into Lake Winnipeg and on to the ocean where it might stay for a thousand years.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Loved this devotion; the Red River flows through my hometown of Crookston. Thanks for the memories and your as always inspiring message.

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