Although Christmas is now behind us, I enjoyed watching as my son eagerly anticipated the arrival of Christmas! For most children the arrival of Christmas can never come soon enough. There is an excitement and longing for that Christmas morning when the smell of cinnamon rolls wafts from the kitchen and the presents are finally ready to be opened. One thing that children learn as they grow up, however, is that Christmas comes and Christmas goes year after year. They find that the excitement and anticipation gives way to a temporal happiness that lasts for a time until the toys wear out and tree comes down until the next year comes.
As Christians, we have a much greater thing to look forward to than an enjoyable, yet temporal, festivity that comes and goes so quickly. In Revelation 22, Jesus reminds us three times of a greater event that we ought to anticipate all year long. Jesus reminds us of an event that will usher us into an eternity of enjoying God’s very presence. Jesus assured us of our future and gave us a great hope and longing when He said: “Surely, I come quickly” (v. 20). What a hope and what a joy that promise should bring to the heart of every believer. Christ isn’t promising us a mere temporal and passing moment of happiness that comes and goes. Rather, Christ is directing our hearts towards His imminent return! This great promise was given over 1900 years ago, yet His coming has been imminent to every generation. In reality, 1900 years is not very long in the scope of eternity. As 21st century Christians, we should be even more ready and we should be even more watchful for His return than previous generations.
Notice, however, the response of John in the book of Revelation. John responds from the overflow of his heart with a longing for the return of Christ. He said, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (v. 20). This longing for the return of Christ is the heart cry of every true believer. As pilgrims passing through this world, we look “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Our attitude should not be one of desperately clinging to the soil of this earth as if we will live here forever. Rather, our attitude ought to be one of anticipation. We ought to be looking forward to the coming of Christ!
I believe that this anticipation only grows in the heart of the Christian the longer they journey through this barren wasteland of a world that is filled with troubles and trials. The hope of the Christian is not some passing festivity that comes and goes once a year. Rather, the hope of the Christian is an eternal and sinless abode with God. May we look for Him to come and may our hearts continually cry out, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”