And so to the final reference to the Spirit of God in the bible – we got there eventually! And fittingly, the Spirit’s gaze is directed towards Jesus – as it always is. The grand story of Scripture causes the Spirit to cry out a final encouragement, the only encouragement in a sense that the Spirit ever gives: ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’
History is his story. Jesus comes into our world, changes it forever, and from that point, the ultimate question is: when will he come again?
In one sense, Jesus is always coming into this world. Every time we pray the Lord’s prayer, we pray, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done….’ – and we ask Jesus to come into this world a little bit more.
Every time we welcome the Spirit’s presence into our lives, the Spirit of Christ fills our hearts – and Jesus comes into this world a little bit more.
Every time a follower of Jesus offers a small act of kindness in Jesus’ name, feeds the hungry, visits the sick, gives a word of encouragement, mends a relationship, rights a small wrong – Jesus comes into this world a little bit more.
Every time someone prays a simple prayer inviting Jesus into their lives, and asking for help to follow him – Jesus comes into this world a little bit more.
But there will be a day when he comes back for good – good in both senses of the world, that is permanently and to our eternal benefit. This is the day the Spirit is working for, completing Jesus’ work on earth.
But it’s also what we long for too. It’s not just the Spirit that says come – the bride does too. In John’s language ‘the bride’ means us. We are those who long for Jesus’ return. We’ve tasted a little, and know that God is good. But the great feast awaits. And so we work and pray, we live and love, we serve and trust and overcome, that one day Jesus might return and we can enjoy the fullness of his presence forever.
That day may be close, or it may be a long way away. We don’t – and can’t, or even shouldn’t – know. But as dawn follows night, it will come. And it will be worth the wait!
So as we pray, ‘Amen, come Holy Spirit’ into our lives today, so may we also pray, with the Spirit and for our world: ‘Amen, come Lord Jesus.’ For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are His, now and forever. Amen.