Living On Main Street!
I want to live on Main Street. Never thought I would hear this old country boy say that in a million years. I favor a log cabin out in the back of a field somewhere in a secluded spot. Yesterday, a professor from Princeton Theological shared her expertise in lectio divina. She focused on Revelation 22:1-2 for her presentation. A comparative study of four different versions of this text was presented. There was a New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), New International Version (NIV), The Message (MSG), and the New Living Translation (NLT) Bible text.
We were encouraged to consider words, phrases, images, and feelings that lifted from these texts and brought special significance to us. Some versions mentioned a "street of the city" (NRSV) while others talked of a "great street" (NIV). The text that spoke to me of a clear place to find rest and hope was the New Living Translation text. When I saw the phrase "coursing down the center of main street" I stopped and savored that image.
"And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne
of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a
tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for
medicine to heal the nations. No longer will anything be cursed. For the throne of God and of the Lamb
will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on
their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine
on them. And they will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5, NLT)
This piece of scripture is describing a restored Garden of Eden. We often forget the Garden of Eden originally was good in every way and God's presence was close and evident. We ignore our part in the separation of humanity from God through our sin. We wonder why the world is in the shape it's in. We long for safety, peace, and security. We live in a broken, dark, and fallen world. Enter "Main Street" living!
Here in Revelation 22, John is writing what is being revealed to him. He describes a river with the water of life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. The scene is one of restoration. It is a place of peace and hope. The place to be is squarely on main street in the New Jerusalem.
What do you long for? Is it more money? Is it a better job? Is it peace? What is it that you seek with all your strength? Consider living right smack dab in the middle of God's rich grace and mercy. Strive to build your house in the middle of a river of life. The view of the throne of God and the Lamb would be incredible. The work and the mortgage has already been done and paid by Jesus Christ. It's time to stopping running wildly to and fro looking for things that will never satisfy the longings of our soul. It is time to settle down and rest in this place where there is no night (darkness) and where tears don't exist (no pain). Oh, and it will make my dream log cabin look like a cardboard shack!