Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Revelation 22:12-17 (NIV)
Epilogue: Invitation and Warning
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
In verse 16 Jesus claims to be the “root” and the “offspring” (shoot/branch). How? Because Jesus, maker of all things, God of eternity who is one with the Father and the Spirit, also became a human. He became “incarnate”, meaning he took on human flesh. That is incredible! The creator of David became his son. Jesus started everything and he came to finish it. Now he simply invites us to come and receive His free gift of life. That is the heart of Christmas. It is not about giving gifts, but receiving them from God! This Christmas, receive the gift of the branch of Jesse deeper into your life. Let Him reign in your heart with truth, righteousness, and justice, seeing the world through His eyes of love, grace and mercy, rather than seeing things by the world’s standards. Let Jesus reign in your heart while you are at home, at work, at family gatherings, and even while you are shopping!