Morning Prayer: 28 Nov – Revelation 22:1-5 ~ the river of life, Eden restored

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 22:1-5 (ESV) – to be read aloud

In this mixed media textile by artist Karen Goetzinger, each element was chosen for its particular meaning and ties to Revelation 21. For instance, the layered organdy fabric making up the city skyline is a fabric often used in wedding dresses, evoking the description of the holy city, “coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (21:2). The patchwork fabric at the base of the piece evokes the precious jewels decorating the New Jerusalem (21:19-20), and the gold leaf cross in the center illuminates the city, for “the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (21:23). Karen Goetzinger, Revelation 21. Mixed Media Textile. Collection of Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota. © Karen Goetzinger, www.karengoetzinger.com.

In this mixed media textile by artist Karen Goetzinger, each element was chosen for its particular meaning and ties to Revelation 21. Mixed Media Textile. Collection of Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota. © Karen Goetzinger, http://www.karengoetzinger.com.

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; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, 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 night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Reflection

THE FOURTH VISION: THE NEW JERUSALEM (21:9-22:5)

Eden restored (22:1-5)

Throughout chapter 21 John has been using the imagery of a magnificent city to describe the people of God in the glorious age to come. While the first five verses of chapter 22 continue that description, they also portray the eternal state os Eden restored, thus “book-ending” the Christian Bible…. Now in Revelation we see redeemed humanity back in the garden, able to eat the bountiful fruit of the tree of life. The curse has been removed, and God’s people are again privileged to “see his face” and serve him. No greater good or more joyous truth could be imagined than eternal fellowship with God and the Lamb! Truly, the unimaginable blessings of Eden have been restored. (Mounce, p. 398)

In divine providence, our Bible ends with the ultimate restoration of the original creation. Paul teaches that although the creation is currently in bondage to decay, it nevertheless eagerly awaits the time when it will be liberated from this bondage. This will take place when the children of God are brought into the glorious future prepared for them (Rom 8:19-21). Although sin has marred the history of the human race, God has, through the redemption wrought by his Son, set into motion a new humanity. In the present age he rules the hearts of all who have turned to him in faith: in the age to come that reign will find it’s full completion. Sin will be forever removed and the design of Eden will be fully realized. The book of Revelation is the final chapter in God’s eternal plan for his children. It portrays in imagery of the most evocative kind the glorious future of all who resist the mark of the beast and turn in believing faith to the Lamb. It brings us full circle to the original desires of God in his creation of all that is (Mounce, p. 401)
__________


__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: