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.
I love going on holiday. Having recently been on two holidays in close succession, however, I find myself in a position where I have no more holidays planned. When that’s the case, I find I get itchy feet. Part of the joy of a holiday is having something to look forward to. The sense of anticipation is almost as good as the holiday itself.
There’s a real sense of anticipation in today’s verse. It begins with the Holy Spirit and the “bride,” a term often used to describe the Church, urging Jesus to return, as he promised he would. The bride (the Church) is looking forward to the arrival of the bridegroom (Christ) so that the relationship of love that has been fostered during their engagement can reach fulfilment. The Church waits with eager anticipation the return of Christ, so that those who love Christ can enter the house of the Father, heaven, where there is no fear, no hatred, no illness and no death.
In the second part of the verse, the call goes out to “the one who is thirsty.” Yesterday we considered how Jesus will quench the thirst of all those who believe in him – not a thirst for water, but the spiritual thirst that is within us all. Here again we have a call for “the one who is thirsty” to come. We are invited to take the “free gift of the water of life.” This water, the water that is Christ, is life-giving; if we drink it, we will have eternal life in heaven with Jesus. The best thing about this water is that it is free, a gift offered to us all. There is no cost to us for receiving this water. Like all gifts, it has been paid for by someone else, in this case by Jesus. He paid the greatest price possible for this gift; he paid with his life on the cross. We are not forced to accept this gift; we can refuse it if we wish. “Anyone who wishes” can accept it, there is no restriction or limitation, but it is up to us whether we choose to accept it or not.
Reflect today on whether your voice is amongst those of the wider Church urging Jesus to return. Are you excited about Jesus returning? Do you feel that sense of anticipation? Or do you not give it a second thought? Have you accepted the free gift of living water that Christ offers? Do you marvel at the price that Jesus paid for this gift, for us, for me, for you? Are you eager to share this gift with those you know and love, or are you ashamed about it, and keen to hide away from this amazing revelation? Join with the Spirit and the Bride today in calling for Jesus to come!