Amen, Come Lord Jesus
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20)!
If we have read Revelation 22 in its entirety, none of this should sound new. Instead, it should sound quite familiar. In both verses 7 & 12 we have heard the promise of our Savior: “I am coming soon.” And we have also heard the Spirit-driven cry of the Bride (the church) in verse 17 when she says: “Come.”
With this truth in mind we might complain by asking: “So is there nothing new here?” My reply would be: “Well, yes and no.” The repeated words are not meaningless or wasted space. Since we were toddlers, our lives have demonstrated that we often need to be told the same thing again and again. Sometimes Patty will list for me the agenda for the day and then look at me and ask: “Did you hear what I said?” Repetition is not always wasted space; it’s sometimes what is needed.
On one level there is nothing new in these words. But there is something new in that the promise of the Savior and the cry of the Bride exist side by side. Those who come from more liturgical backgrounds might readily hear this as a liturgical call and response. The truth is spoken by our Lord: “I am coming soon,” and the church cries out: “Amen.” What follows is a prayer, indeed the final prayer of the Bible: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
In scripture, the bride is often an image for the church, and perhaps this image helps to see how appropriate it is for an eager anticipation to fill our hearts. While the image of the bride may be helpful to move us in the right direction, we should not set the image as a ceiling. No, for as Craig Keener states so beautifully, “Any other longing we have will be but a shadow of our desire for the greatest and truest love available, the love to which the Lamb’s shed blood stands as an eternal testimony.” May this be the liturgy on our lips as we hear the voice of our savior assuring us of his coming. Let our lips cry out: “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”