Living Water (28-07-22)
A Bible Reading: John 7. 37 - 39
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. A Thought I drove to and from Norfolk last week on particularly hot days. With my bottles of water already lined in my cool bag, I had plenty to quench my thirst and keep me well-hydrated. As I drove, I became more aware of the fields along the route which all looked very lush and healthy despite the intense heat. This is due to the careful irrigation of the crops.
I saw enormous watering apparatus, which stretch almost the whole width of the fields and roll across on numerous sets of wheels. I’m not sure exactly how they work, but they are clearly effective. Then there are the huge water canons, twisting round and firing gallons of water in huge jets into the surrounding fields. A different method but equally effective.
Recently, my Mum’s water went off unexpectedly. There was an emergency in the village with a burst water main just down the road from her house. A reminder of just how vital water is and how much we use each day. Fortunately, her carers and friends kept her supplied with bottled water, until the water supply was restored later in the day.
Many of the projects promoted by Tear Fund and Christian Aid in poverty stricken areas also involve water – providing clean water for people to drink and better methods of irrigation for their crops to help to address the effects of climate change. All these things remind us what a precious and essential commodity water is and how necessary for life.
However, Jesus spoke about another kind of water. In the Bible, water is one of the images used for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. This is a thirst for the things of God and equally vital for a healthy Christian life. He goes on: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” The Amplified Bible talks about continual rivers of living water. This is a supply that will never run dry. When we believe in Jesus, we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within us. As we become more aware and more open to the Spirit within, we will find more and more of God’s river and living water flowing from within us to sustain our Christian lives, but also to overflow into the lives of those around us.
A Prayer Lord Jesus, thank you for the precious gift of water. Help us not to take this for granted. Thank you too for the gift of your Spirit. May rivers of living water flow from with us to bring life and refreshing wherever we go. Amen.
Down the mountain, the river flows by Andy Park