The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
– Rev. 22:17, NRSV
When I read that verse recently, I did a double-take. It’s familiar enough that somehow I’d missed one of the most inclusive invitations I’ve ever read.
Let’s add some context. This comes at the end of all the drama of Revelation. The chapter before concludes the saga with a complete victory. God is with His people, no more tears, surrounded by incredible beauty and loving community. And drinking from the water of life.
And that’s why I love this verse. It’s the invitation to all of that perfection. First of all, we see who is inviting:
The Spirit says “Come.” (That is God Himself).
The bride says “Come.” (That is God’s church—we get to help invite.)
Let everyone who hears say “Come.” (If you’ve heard and understood the Gospel for yourself, you’re qualified to invite others.)
And then we get to who is invited: everyone who is thirsty.
Anyone who wants the water of life can take it as a free gift. You don’t have to sort yourself out first—you just have to be thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re invited.
If they are thirsty, they’re invited. There’s a thirsty world out there, and you probably know a few yourself. Thirsty for Jesus and all that He offers. So drink up, drink all you want, and invite the thirsty ones you know to the Water of Life.
Once or twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and was sent to our volunteers on Feb. 22, 2017.