His World, His Work
God of love and Joy, God of Bethlehem’s baby boy, I bow before You today. Thank You for the great “glad tidings” the angels sang.
Read REVELATION 22:1-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through him who with us sideth” (Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is our God). Celebrate the greatest of all gifts!
“Welcome to the wedding!” is the joyous note sounded in the last two chapters of Scripture. Where will this wedding take place, and where will we spend our “eternal honeymoon”? What a wonderful surprise: we are not going up to heaven to be with God, but he is coming down to earth to be with us! Even as Adam and Eve said their vows in an earthly garden, so groom and bride will say their vows in an earthly garden city.
This is described in the first five verses. What a lovely picture, which should awaken in us the delights of Genesis and the promise of Romans 8:21, where creation’s freedom is tied in with ours. God’s people should be at the forefront of “creation care”! This new world is as certain as God’s reliable Word (6-10). Did you notice all the references to such words as “book,” “words,” “prophecy,” and our invitation to “hear” them and to “keep” them? This is revelation indeed! The next five verses (11-15) talk about the grand sweep of God’s work, in his world and through his Word. The phrases “Alpha and Omega” and “the First and the Last” occur in both the first and last chapters of Revelation. He, himself, is the “Beginning and the End” (13) of all human history.
The last verses focus attention again on the groom (“the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star”) (16), and give a final invitation (17) and warning (18,19). They end with a fervent longing for Jesus’ return (20). May we be those who do not look down with fear or shame, but look up to the humble Baby who will return as glorious King!
On this Christmas Eve day, prepare yourself for the coming, joyful celebration. What does Emmanuel, “God with us,” mean to you?
Lord Jesus, may my Christmas celebrating Your first coming create in me a longing for Your Second Coming, too. Thank You that You came and are coming again.