In the Lesson from Acts 16 we hear of Paul and Silas being thrown in prison. Even when in chains, they live their faith by praying and singing hymns as a witness to the other prisoners. When an earthquake breaks open the jail, they do not flee but finish their witness, with the end result of the jail keeper and all his household coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
In John 17, Jesus is praying for his disciples just prior to his death and resurrection. He asks that his followers have the same kind of unity with the Father that he himself knows, and that they express that unity with one another as a community. By being united to God as is Jesus, his followers might then display to the world the love and glory of God.
Revelation 22 is the final chapter of the Christian Bible, containing the vision of God’s City (God’s life and rule) coming to earth at the “end” or fulfillment of God’s plan. Today’s final verses respond to that vision with the cry “Come!” as the church (the “bride”) looks forward to that fulfillment of God’s purposes on earth as in heaven. It is paradoxically noted that anyone who desires can come to receive the water of life, and yet there are those who remain in a way of life that rejects Christ and are excluded.
Comment: With Paul and Silas, may we dare to be courageous witnesses to our life with Christ in any circumstance we experience, especially a hard times of unfair treatment. Surely it was their unity with Christ and the presence of God within them that gave them the ability to do this. It comforts me to know that Jesus prays that you and I have this life and unity! May we say Amen to this prayer daily, always seeking to be people who turn to the living water – the Spirit of God – to be filled, encouraged, blessed and directed in our lives.
David S. Robinson, Rector
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002