Full Circle

The Empyrean (highest heaven), from the illustrations to The Divine Comedy by Gustave Doré

What do you imagine heaven to be like?  What do you imagine Paradise to be?  The place where heaven is, where God lives?  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve explored the River of Life and God’s comfort and restoration.

The vision concludes:

Epilogue: invitation and warning

12 ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 

16 ‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.’

17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

So not only does the fruit grow on the tree – but we can eat of the fruit.

This is Genesis coming full circle.  The Bible ends where it began:

The Lord God placed all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees in the garden. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of the trees gave life—the other gave the power to know the difference between right and wrong. (Genesis 2:9)

The eating from the forbidden tree of knowledge took us away from God and the tree of life.  Now Paradise is restored.  The tree of life is still there – and we are invited, nay entitled, to enjoy.  We can come and drink of the water of life.

God is home – and we can join him, in all he ever intended life to be.

What a hope.  What a future.  What a reality of life lived forever in God’s presence.

Thank you Lord
for the promise,
the promise to eat from the Tree of Life.

May I take,
and fill
and know
your presence,
your life,
your hope.

Come Lord,
soon,
I pray

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