There is a River

With a temperature in Ontario hovering around 20 degrees C below zero, there isn’t much of anything flowing around here, unless it’s natural gas towards the furnace. Flowing, however, happens abundantly, joyfully, in the pages of the Scriptures. Psalm 46: "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God". We might also reflect with the author of the first Psalm in His description of the Blessed, "like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season". Ezekiel, too, encounters a river, in his vision of the third temple. Not unlike the gushing forth coerced by Moses out of a rock in the desert, this stream also originates at a solid place: the threshold of God’s house. And this river, too, is prompted by a strike: that of God’s glory, returning forcefully to the temple from the east, with a mighty sound, and with bright shining. Isaiah’s words describe what happens to the landscape when God blesses it: "the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing." Eschatology has it’s own river too, as written about in Revelation 22:"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." In 2008, Jon Foreman, (referencing the river we metaphorically cross at death), sang this lyric: "Over the river, I’ll find my hope, in you." And in 2009, I see a visual connection between the river and the way the Holy Spirit works: carving out channels of life into us, weak vessels of God’s grace and glory. May His grace be with you, and fill your heart with joy. Praise!

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