Rivers of Living Water (11-09-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 130:5-6
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
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.
At the bottom of Derwent Water on the edge of Sheffield is a dam, over which there is usually a curtain of water cascading down as it continues its journey from the hills in the Peak District towards Ladybower Reservoir to supply the people of Sheffield.
If you were, however, to walk around the reservoir during a dry summer you would notice that some of the streams that flow into it have dried up and the level of the water in the reservoir has fallen below the level of the dam. Instead of a curtain of water cascading over the dam wall and running on down through the valley, there is just a dry-stone wall and an empty water course.
In the book of Ezekiel (chapter 47) there is an image of God’s holy temple with a river flowing from under it eventually forming a river that Ezekiel could swim in and that supported animal and plant life. A similar image is seen in the book of Revelation (chapter 22), where a river flows from the throne of God and brings life around it as it does so.
Sometimes in life it can feel as if we are spiritually dry. Like the Derwent Reservoir in a hot summer, there is no water flowing in, the water level has fallen and there is nothing flowing out to sustain and refresh the lives around us. We are thirsty.
When that it the case, let us hear again the words of Jesus ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’
We may be tempted to look for other ways to quench our inner thirst, but it is only God’s Holy Spirit that will truly satisfy. His Spirit, poured out at Pentecost after Jesus had been glorified through his death and resurrection, is now freely available to all who come to Jesus and ask. It will form a river that will flow from us and bring God’s life to those around us.
Lord Jesus, I come to you today to drink from the Living Water of your Holy Spirit.
Quench my thirst and fill me afresh that your life might flow through me to refresh and sustain those around me.
Lord, I come to you.