1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Revelation 22:1-4)
As we approach New Church Day this Friday, my family and I have been reading through Revelation. We decided to make leaves out of sculpey and put them onto a bookmark as a reminder of the Tree of Life described in the passage above.
In this year full of many unexpected changes and concerns on a global scale it has been reassuring to spend time focusing on the Word and learning more and more about living a full, loving, and meaningful life through the teachings of the New Church.
Arcana Coelestia 9481 (included below) describes the representative connection between the stories in Revelation and the New Church.
‘”In accordance with all that I show you, the pattern of the dwelling-place’ means a representative of heaven where the Lord is. This is clear from the meaning of ‘the pattern of the dwelling-place’ as a representative of heaven; for ‘the pattern’ means a representative, and ‘the dwelling-place’ means heaven. The reason why ‘the pattern’ means a representative is that Divine realities in heaven are also manifested in visible shapes, which are representatives. For the meaning of ‘the dwelling-place’ as heaven where the Lord is, see 8269, 8309. What the representatives that appear in heaven are like is clear in the prophets, for example in John’s Book of Revelation, in which he describes lampstands, Chapter 1:12ff; a throne with twenty-four thrones around it, and four living creatures before the throne, Chapter 4:2ff; a book sealed with seven seals, Chapter 5; horses going out when the seals were opened, Chapter 6; angels who are clothed in various ways and have bowls, Chapters 9, 10, 15, 16; a white horse, Chapter 19; and at length a new Jerusalem, its walls, gates, foundations, height, breadth, and length, Chapters 21, 22. Similar sights are also described by other prophets.
 All those sights are representatives such as appear unceasingly in heaven before angels’ eyes, manifesting in visible shapes the Divine celestial realities that belong to the good of love and the Divine spiritual realities that belong to the good of faith. Such realities taken all together were represented by the tabernacle and its contents, that is, the ark itself, the table on which loaves were laid, the altar of incense, the lampstand, and everything else. Therefore when these objects, being outward forms of Divine celestial and spiritual realities, were beheld by the people while they were engaged in holy acts of worship, such realities as were represented by those objects were brought to notice in heaven. These, as stated above, were the Divine celestial realities that belong to the good of love to the Lord and the Divine spiritual realities that belong to the good of faith in the Lord. All the representatives of that Church had that kind of effect in heaven. It should be realized that a person always has spirits and angels present with him and that a person cannot live without them. It should likewise be realized that through them the person is linked to the Lord, and that in this way the human race, and heaven too, is kept in being. From this one can see what purpose was served by the representatives and also the ritual observances of the Church established among the Israelite nation. One can also see what purpose is served by the Word, in which all things mentioned in the sense of the letter correspond to Divine realities that exist in heaven, thus in which all the objects mentioned are representative and all the words used carry a spiritual meaning. This is what brings about the linking of a person to heaven, and through heaven to the Lord. Without that link the person would have no life whatever, for without being linked to the actual Essential Being (Esse) of life, from which the Coming-into-Being (Existere) of life emanates, no one has life.
 But these considerations are unintelligible to those who think that life exists essentially in a person himself and that a person lives without spirits or angels, thus without influx from the Divine by way of heaven. But in actual fact anything that is not linked to the Divine perishes and ceases to exist. Indeed nothing can ever come into being without that which is prior to itself, thus without the Divine, who is the First and is self-existent Being (Esse) or Jehovah; nor consequently can it remain in being, for remaining in being is constant coming-into-being. Because ‘the dwelling-place’ means heaven where the Lord is, it also means the good of love and faith, since these compose heaven; and because all good comes from the Lord, and heaven is called heaven by virtue of its love to and faith in the Lord, ‘the dwelling-place’ also means in the highest sense the Lord, as is evident in Isaiah 63:15; Jeremiah 25:30; Ezekiel 37:26-27; Psalms 26:8; 43:3; 90:1; 91:9; Exodus 15:13; Deuteronomy 12:5, 11; and other places. From this it is clear that the tabernacle was called Jehovah’s sanctuary and dwelling-place for the reason that it represented the realities mentioned above.”