Sea ripple water with morning fog

The Gift of Water and New Creation

Scripture Reading | Revelation 22:17

17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.” [1]

Reflections

The first words of the Bible give us a vivid image. “It was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters.”[2] These words in Genesis or Israel’s story. A people in captivity drew hope from the idea that in the midst of the chaos (formless and empty) God’s Spirit was at work. He calls out life out of the void … and it was so. Light comes out of darkness.

Today’s Scripture reading takes us to the end of our Bible. John is wrapping up his perplexing vision. He is giving us a colorful picture of where this work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is headed.

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and 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. Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always. [3]

The story of Scripture has taken us on a journey from creation, through all the brokenness and failures of humanity, through redemption provided by Jesus’ death upon a cross, to a Spirit infused world that is being remade. New creation! “17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” [4] People who have been made new by the God “who makes all things new” are part of a river of life that brings healing to the nations! The world is being renewed!

Then, we are reminded that Jesus will return. 

And with this reminder comes some of the most beautiful words in all of Scripture:

17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.” [5]

Two things are happening here. The Spirit and the bride (Christians) are eagerly anticipating the coming of Christ, “Come!”. 

But all this story, all the new creation that is happening, all the rivers that are flowing and bringing new life, all the fountains bubbling up, all the waters of redemption, are open to any and all who would come.

Are you thirsty?

Come, and receive life-giving water!

Action

God is bringing about new creation … making all things new. This is not just descriptive. It is prescriptive. This is the work we participate in as heirs of the kingdom of God.

Consider taking a symbolic and practical step in the direction of new creation. Living Water International is ministering “to the poorest of the poor and work to end the global water crisis.” Take a moment and check out their website, water.cc, and consider giving to the cause.

Prayer

In the dry wildernesses of our lives,
in the days of heat and thirst,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When we begin to doubt your presence,
and grumble that your love is unreliable,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When life’s regrets and the bad choices we have made
leave us feeling excluded and unworthy,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When circumstances, or the inhumanity of others,
have left us alone and wounded,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

We thank you and praise you, O God,
that how ever we may thirst,
what ever we may need to satisfy our souls,
you offer it freely and abundantly in Christ;
So we drink deep of the living water

and, as we draw from your wells,
we seek to pass the cup to others
who, like us, are thirsty for your grace.

Amen [6]

Worship

Below is a short set of worship songs. Settle in for a few minutes more and meet with God.

[1] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Re 22:17.

[2] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Ge 1:2.

[3] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Re 22:1–5.

[4] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), 2 Co 5:17.

[5] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Re 22:17.

[6] © John van de Laar

Reagan Waggoner - March 14, 2021

Jesus and Water

Scripture References: Isaiah 44:3-34

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