Hear the Invitation: Come

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let the hearer say, ‘Come.’ Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water” (Revelation 22:17, New American Bible).

St. John arrives at the end of his vision and audition of the apocalypse—the revelation—of Jesus Christ. He shares the simple invitation he hears from the Spirit of Christ and from His bride, the Church: Come.
Listen. The invitation is for you and for me and for all who thirst for that life-giving water.
Come and see. Come and hear. Come and drink. Come and live.
Come and see the uncountable multitudes gathering around the throne of God the Father. Come and see the white-robed martyrs on bended knees, literally genuflecting before the Father who spoke the word that made them, the Son who died that they might live, the Spirit who anointed them that they might believe.
Come and hear the four living creatures singing an unending acclamation:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8b).

Come and hear every creature, all made by God, sing unceasing praises in achingly sublime harmony:

“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).

Come and drink. Drink from the clearer-than-crystal river that flows through the heavenly city. Come and drink from the water and the blood that flow commingled from the pierced side of the Son of God. Come and drink and never be thirsty again.
Come and live. Gather with all who have died and who now have been raised from death. Gather with all who died in hope that death would not speak the last word. Gather with all who have heard the living voice of the Lamb say, “Arise. Come forth from your grave. Come and live.”
Come and see. Come and hear. Come and drink. Come and live.

Questions for Reflection

  • Where in your life do you feel thirsty for God’s life-giving water?
  • How do you respond to God’s invitation to come into His presence?
  • Where do you encounter reminders of God’s promise of life-giving water?

Father in heaven, help me to hear your invitation to come to you, to come and to drink the life-giving water that forgives my sin and restores my soul. When I have died, raise me up so that I may gather with all who have heard the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” I pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Southwood Lutheran Church, Lincoln, provides daily devotions by e-mail. This reflection served as the message for Friday, January 10, 2014.