Today I begin with longing. Hopeful longing under sullen grey clouds. And I’m glad.

This week there are many who are tired, weighed down. Several of my friends are living with the illness of family members. Others with the reality of dreams deferred. Some, including myself, with the fatigue of daily struggles–nothing big by themselves, but taken together, exhausting us to the point of narrowing our vision of hope to a pin-prick of light ahead.

Yet even when despair surrounds, when situations confound, and there is no clear solution evident, those of us who know and love Jesus have hope. We have a hope of a future–beautiful and true.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  And he said to me, “It is done!…”

Then came one of the seven angels…and spoke to me saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. ” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

And 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 gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never shut by day–and there will be no night there.

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 t he 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.

He who testiflies these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!

[Rev. 21:3-6, 10-11, 22-25; 22:1-5, 20]


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