[From Nov. 19, 2012]
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."
I've always been a bit intrigued by the biblical account of heaven in Revelation. The entire book is one of cryptic symbolism & imagery, so I don't necessarily assume it's a literal representation of what heaven is (will be) like. Instead, it gives us glimpses of what's most important.
Chapter 22 is the end, literally. It's both the very last chapter of the entire Bible, and the account of the "New Jerusalem," the final description of God's ultimate reign & kingdom. I love the water imagery! "The river of the water of life" flows through the New Jerusalem. For a people living in the Middle East, this is a HUGE gift! Water, hydration, irrigation, etc. It nourishes the Tree of Life, which has 12 kinds of fruit & produces every month. 12 in Revelation is symbolic for completeness. So there's food for all - all the time! And (here's my favorite part) "the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." It's not the fruit that inspires me, but the leaves. Healing! Reconciliation! We've screwed up so many things with our national disputes, prejudices, wars, and exploitations of others. Finally there's a chance for a new start.
Healing leaves. It's more than the fruit of the Tree of Life that's powerful!