Finally – weather that might bring out a sweat! And leave you thirsty. Recall a time you were really thirsty. And can you remember what it took to quench your thirst?
For me, this was about 40 years ago.
Marilynn and I were students on a student budget trip to Paris. The cheap hotel was grotty. I’d had my camera stolen. It was still 30°C plus at 10 PM. And we were desperately thirsty. Then we discovered the “brasserie” next-door. And there we discovered Perrier. A simple bottle each of sparkling mineral water – nothing has ever tasted as refreshing in our whole life.
Water is essential to life. All you gardeners (even balcony gardeners) know this. It is a profound gift – as long as it’s in the right proportion. The irony of climate change is the upsetting of present stable system of the water cycle. We get extremes of severe drought in the areas we call the breadbaskets of the world and yet the sea-level is rising and flooding coastal areas. This will lead to the complete flooding of the little Pacific island nation of Tuvalu. Last year’s once-in-a-lifetime floods in our area were so traumatic for our communities, yet these were minor when compared to the devastations that may be coming for much of our civilisation, beginning with the oceanic nations. Yes, water is key to life – in the right amount.
The geography of Palestine includes both lush fertile valleys dotted across a mostly desert landscape. The ancients were very careful with their water supplies. Water was precious, never to be wasted. So imagery runs throughout the Bible of water as a gift from God. Notice how Genesis 2:10-14 locates Eden by reference to 4 rivers.
It meant a lot then when Jesus said: John 7:37… “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
He invites us to come to him if we are spiritually thirsty. His Way will quench that thirst.
But more, Jesus goes on to say that, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ That symbolically suggests that we are to pass on to others the blessings we receive. Jesus is not simply offering each of us what we deeply need in our spirits; he is challenging us to be a resource to others with the same need. We are called to give life, life in the spirit, to others. That is part of our purpose as church. Not just to receive blessings, but to pass them on.
Have a great summer! A thirst-quenching one!