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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 25, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Revelation 21:10, 22—22:5

And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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. (NRSV)

Revelation is always interesting to me. Given the radical departure in the subject matter and tone of writing, it’s very jarring. Also, I’m never quite sure if I should understand this book more in terms of its first-century setting, as a literal description of end times, or as a symbolic narrative meant to evoke timeless truths such as the ultimate victory of good over evil.

Nonetheless, particular elements of the above passages stand out to me: “Healing of the nations,” “No longer will there be any curse,” “The Lord God will give them light.”

This suggests to me that no matter what you are going through personally, professionally, or even spiritually, a better day will come. Unfortunately neither you nor I can know how we get there or what that final day looks like. But this is the centrality of our faith and where we rely on the things we cannot necessarily sense.

Continue doing your best. Continue doing the diligent, patient work that is within your power to make our time on earth the absolute best it can be for everyone. And know that our reward is greater than we can imagine.

Lord, please give each of us the strength to endure our daily trials. Please help us remember that through faith we are strengthened and through you we are saved. Amen.

Written by Cornell Wilson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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