Our reason for chose the name “Riverside” is two-fold. First, we like the name because of our proximity to the Etowah River that runs just south, and to the west of the city Cartersville extending through Bartow County.  Second, we like the name Riverside because of the incredible picture of “the River of Life” in the Bible, found in Ezekiel 47:1-12 and Revelation 22:1-2.

In Ezekiel chapter 47, the prophet Ezekiel is shown a vision symbolizing the renewal of the temple in Jerusalem, but even more so, it points to the renewal of the whole earth following the end of the exile. Verse 6 of that passage says:

6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:6-12 ESV)

This however, is not the only image of  the River of Life in the Bible. It is also mentioned toward the end, in Revelation ch. 22 (where again, through a vision) an angel of God shows the apostle John “the New Jerusalem” which is actually not in the city, but rather is coming down from heaven! John describes what he saw in this way:

“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 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2 ESV)

Now what is the correlation between these two passages? Simply this – Ezekiel and John both see a vision of the same temple, but with one striking difference. John sees things from the vantage point following the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and through Him, the dawn of a new creation! What does that mean? It means that what Ezekiel saw as a symbol of future promise, John gets to see as a reality, a reality far exceeding what Ezekiel was able to behold!

So what does all of this have to do with us?

In John 7:38 (NIV), Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” And the following verse tells us “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” As believers in Jesus Christ take the good news (called the gospel) about Him into the world, then through the power of His Holy Spirit, it brings new life to EVRYTHING! As the gospel flows into people’s hearts their lives are transformed, which in turn flows into their community bringing renewal and transformation in neighborhoods and cities, then through them – the gospel flows out to the rest of the world bringing new life wherever it goes. As the river in Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22 brings abundant life to all things, so the gospel of Jesus Christ brings abundant life to individuals, communities, and nations as it goes forth into the world in the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the church. The gospel changes everything!

This is the amazing picture that symbolized in our logo. It is only through the good news of Christ’s death on the cross and Resurrection to everlasting life, that the river of life brings new life to all things. The trees on each side of the cross in our logo represent the tree of life, and the new life that Christ is bringing to the whole world by His grace. In Revelation 21:5, Jesus says “Behold, I am making all things new.” Would you join us in His mission as we seek to see all things made new in Him?

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Riverside Community Church
Sundays at 10:30 am
311 Old Mill Road
Cartersville, Ga 30120
(470) 315-2344

Riverside Community Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)