17 August 2012

Revelation 22:1-7

"See, I am coming soon!" (v. 7)


John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, ends his book with a vision of "the river of the water of life" (v. 1), which sparkles like crystal, and which nourishes the tree of life, which is fruitful and abundant. There is a promise that there will be no more night, light will come from God and the faithful will rule as kings for ever. It is a hope-filled, positive and encouraging vision to the faithful people of the small Churches of Asia Minor (western Turkey) whom the Book of Revelation addresses. It is a really big vision full of promise and hope for a smallish and struggling Church.

In preparing to face Christ as judge, we might want to change our lives, attitudes and behaviour. The Book of Revelation invites its readers and hearers to prepare to be judged. The invitation is to choose between allegiances to the dominant powers of the world in which they live. So, many believe, it's a choice between giving obedience to the Roman Empire and the emperor Domitian (who reigned from AD 81-96) and following Christ. There is an opportunity to choose between a way which is life-affirming and one which leads to death and destruction.

Just as the faithful people in the Churches of Asia Minor are invited to make a choice between life and death, light and darkness, the way of Christ and the way of secular powers, so we are invited to choose. Just like Jesus who chooses the way of the cross, the way of love and the way of light and hope.

To Ponder

  • Do you feel ready to meet God?
  • What would you want to say to God?
  • What, or who do you give allegiance to?

Bible notes author

Revd Helen Cameron

Helen Cameron is a Methodist presbyter and Chair of the Northampton District. Prior to this she was the Assistant Secretary of the Conference and Director of Methodist Formation at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham.