The river of God that we read about in Ezekiel 47 speaks of the the life of God that we have been loved into. This river flows from the temple, the place of encounter with and worship of God, and that is where we must start and centre everything. In Revelation 22 we see this river again and it specifically says the river flows from the throne of God and of the lamb. On this throne – the place of God’s presence and God’s good rule – is a lamb that was slain. The love that loves us into life is most fully and most perfectly expressed at the cross. ‘This is how we know what love is’ says John – ‘Christ died for us.’ The most beautiful, astounding paradox of our faith is that he dies that we might live. We see a church made alive through the self-emptying, self-giving, lamb-like love of our crucified king, Jesus. This is a different kind of kingdom, not like the dominating kingdoms of the world but a kingdom of love and service and sacrifice. And we follow in the same way and with the same spirit.
Thank you God for allowing us to draw near into your presence, to know you and to worship you. Thank you for the cross. Help us to realise what it means to live in the way of your different kingdom, the way of the Lamb, who died that we might live. Help us to live in the way of love, and service, and sacrifice. Amen