Friday, February 11, 2011

Living Water

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. - John 4:14

Perhaps your family is like ours. We have cherished stories that are told over and over. These anecdotes reflect our faith in more meaningful ways than might be apparent on the surface of a cute tale. One of our family favorites is of a time when a toddler comforted an adult. Mom was overwhelmed with the burden of caring for 2 young daughters. As she sobbed one day, her 2 year old patted her on the shoulder and told her “Love makes you happy” attempting to console her.

Our family stories can share our memories of the times when we ministered to one another. In the verse above from the Gospel of John, we are told that when Christ makes us a part of His family, the body of believers in our baptism, he indwells us and gives us “spring of water welling up to eternal life.” That water wells up, then spills over to others around us… just like that 2 year old consoling her mother.

Maybe our reply is like the woman at the well, to whom Jesus was talking in this passage (John 4:7-26)… where do we get this water. God promises that it is in His Word and in the Sacraments, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

When we corral our children and herd them into church it might feel like all we are doing is getting a headache, or giving a headache to those around us. (Sometimes even bruises or stitches if you are sitting with my kids, but that is another family story for another day). We sometimes say God’s Word is performative. The Bible isn’t just some book with black ink, it is living and active, it makes things happen within us. When we are in the midst of the church pew whispering, the pokes, the scramble for crayons… we are getting the Living Water. Even the littlest ones in their carriers hearing God’s Word, read aloud and spoken in the words of the liturgy, are transformed with the spring of water welling up to eternal life.

God gives to us, keeps giving to us and then overflows from us to others. We can’t even help it, it just happens, it is Christ in us.

Father in heaven, Look upon me with mercy and quench my every thirst with living water. I give you thanks for making me and my children members of the body of believers in baptism. I pray that Your Word and Your Spirit will daily continue to transform my sinful nature so that I may spill over with Your love to all I meet. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

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