On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” Now he said this about the Spirit which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)
Flowing water fascinates me. When I was a little girl, my best friend had a house with a creek flowing near her house, and we would play for hours within and around the water.
Jesus tells us that he is the living water that satisfies all our deepest longings. The Spirit is flowing in Christ, flowing through him to everyone around him.
What surprises me when I read this passage today is the part about the water of the Spirit flowing out of those who believe in Christ. In all the times I heard this passage proclaimed at church, I never noticed that part. Here’s what the footnote in my bible says:
Jesus is the true water of life, who turns the symbol into reality. . . Believers become channels of life to others, through Christ’s Spirit given at Pentecost after he was glorified (crucified, risen, ascended). –From the Oxford Annotated Bible, NRSV.
Not only was Christ both human and divine, his human side was a channel of the Holy Spirit–and we, too, are called to be channels of the Holy Spirit, flowing out to give to others in abundance.
Today I am offering you a gift that relates to this meditation: a 2 minute escape from your present work into the environment of a flowing, modern day stream named Wolf Creek. This is a very short video I took on a recent trip to our favorite country getaway in the rolling hills of northeastern Iowa, the “Morning Mist Cabin” owned by Larry and Jo Thein. (Thanks to them for letting us share it, and thanks to my husband Terry for his techie expertise in getting it setup on YouTube.)
As you watch this video, you might want to just enjoy the ability to getaway for a moment from the busyness of daily life, taking in the sights and sounds of God’s creation in nature. You might consider Jesus, the Living Water, and how the Spirit is the water that flows through you to others. Or maybe you just want to wait and see what the Spirit might inspire in you this day.
Note: You can enlarge the picture using the little box with four arrows in the bottom right of the picture to enhance the experience of “getting away from it all,” but just be aware that the picture won’t be as sharp. Move your mouse to see how to reduce it again.
Until next time, Amen!