Psalm of Praise: Psalms 34:17-19
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
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.
We have had many great holidays in Cornwall towards the north of St Ives Bay near Godrevy. The surrounding area has been extensively mined for tin since the 1700s, with the mineral deposits ending up in the river that flows out into the sea at Godrevy. The mineral deposits from the mines polluted the river and turned it bright red, to the extent that it is known as ‘The Red River.’
Tin mining finished when the last mine closed in 1998. Since then the river has lost its distinctive red colour and biodiversity has returned. Living water is now flowing from within the region.
I wonder what impurities pollute our lives. What are the things that prevent the life of God growing in us? When we bring them to Jesus he cleanses us. Then, just as when the Red River was cleansed, Living Water begins to flow and new life returns.
When Jesus met with the woman at the well (John 4) he told her about the living water that he gives which brings eternal life to those who believe in him. When we drink the living water we will never thirst again and will have eternal life.
Today in John 7 Jesus takes this image of living water further. Not only does the water that Jesus gives quench the thirst of those who drink it, but it also flows through them to bring life to others. We are called to be rivers, not ponds, or even reservoirs. Rivers of living water flowing out to bring the life of God to the people and the places that we pass through.
To whom could you be a river of Living Water today?
In his analogy Jesus tells us that the living water is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. It is the holy Spirit that breathes his life into our bodies when we believe in him, it is the Holy Spirit that empowers our Christian lives and equips us for service when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, as the disciples were at Pentecost, and it is the Holy Spirit that flows through us to bring new life to those we meet.
Lord Jesus, fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit, that the life of God might flow through me to all whom I will meet today.
Holy Spirit, living breath of God.