I once spoke to a person who told me that she refuses to read Revelation. When I asked her why, she told me that all the violent imagery and scenes of death and destruction scare her so much that she cannot motivate herself to read it.

Just as Genesis tells the story of creation, so Revelation tells a story of re-creation. We can talk about Revelation as a kind of measuring stick that clearly points out the good, the bad, and the ugly within us and around us. This magnificent piece of literary art, however, is far more significant and life-giving than a mere instrument for blaming and shaming. We can read Revelation as a love letter that gives us a final and important clue in discerning what true salvation looks like. Verse 14 of today’s reading speaks about people washing their robes. This scene alludes to the process of getting rid of all things that stand between us and a healthy relationship with the risen and living Jesus.

We find the most powerful message of today’s reading in verse 17, where the author invites anyone who wishes to take the water of life as a gift. None of the characters in this scene (Jesus, the Spirit, or the bride) orders or coerces us; we are invited to partake of the life Jesus has in mind for us and walk with him. That is true metanoia or repentance. Once we drink from the water of life, we truly are blessed by the One who offers it—Jesus the Christ.

God, thank you for sending us your Son so that we can see what it means to be fully human. Jesus, thank you for the water of life that flows from you in which we can wash our old selves and from which we can drink life abundant. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 17:20-26

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Lectionary Week
May 27—June 2, 2019
Scripture Overview

How did you first hear about the gospel? Was it from your family or a friend? Or was it from a completely unexpected source? This week’s readings remind us that God uses many different techniques of revelation. Paul and Silas are in prison in Philippi, and the guard of the prison has no idea that he is about to encounter the power of God and come to faith. The psalmist says that creation itself reveals God’s glory and power. In Revelation, Jesus speaks directly about his future return and reign, as attested by his messenger and by the Spirit. Jesus prays in John for his followers, because through their unity the gospel will be proclaimed to others. Although Jesus ascends to heaven, the revelation of his plan and purpose does not end.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Acts 16:16-34. Recall a difficult time in your life. Were you able to continue to praise God through this time?
Read Psalm 97. Write your own word picture of what it means to be a child of God, who is in control.
Read Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21. How has Jesus’ invitation to partake of the water of life changed you?
Read John 17:20-26. What signs of division do you see in your community? How can you work toward the oneness to which God calls us?

Respond by posting a prayer.