“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” – John 4:13-14
Our SA-NT Pastors Conference and Synod day in May focused on these words of Jesus. He spoke them first to a woman who came to a well with an empty bucket.
Life has been sapped out of us in one way or another over the past few years, perhaps more than we realise. We see the consequences of that in many areas of community life, including in our congregations. The life we share in together has been sucked out of us in some way too, at least that is the observation of leaders of other Christian churches who I meet with bi-monthly.
I wonder how you would describe the bucket that you come to draw with from God’s well on Sunday morning? What are you grieving for that used to be in your personal or church life, and what are you longing and hoping for in the future?
Sapped of life, in our thirst for life, we are tempted to drink from whatever we can find. Jesus predicts we will continue to be thirsty. He invites us to drink from him, promising that “the water I give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Imagine an endlessly renewable source of pure life, eternal life even. Life that resides not in a deep well somewhere but in the depths of your own baptised being. Life and love that we carry around from God, with God’s presence at work within us, every day, everywhere, empowering our being for him! That’s what Jesus offers and promises. Drink of his forgiveness from the past, drink the peace of a new relationship with God, drink of endless love, drink the joy of eternal life. Drink and never be thirsty in your spirit.
A few chapters later Jesus said: “…‘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…” John 7:37-39
As you read this we are transitioning from the Easter season to the Pentecost season, a seamless transition because the same risen Christ is present with and within us now through the Holy Spirit.
I pray that at this time of energy drain and thirst in individual and communal life you will come with your empty buckets to Christ, the well that never runs dry.
I pray that God will renew and restore his life within you, as you draw daily from him in his word, and together from him in word and sacrament in worship.
I pray that as you draw from him you will be conscious of that bubbling spring of life, the river of living water that Jesus says now flows within you personally, from your baptism into him. It is the life of Christ himself, the life of the very Spirit of God. All the divine power you need to face and live through anything, in your lives as individuals and as church, and to do it with his grace and love.
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