Fuller

Jesus the Superior Water

June 19, 2021 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – John 7:37-38 (NRSV)

“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 the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

Focus

So, when Jesus stands up on the last day of the feast, what a proclamation for those with the collective memory of the trauma of the wilderness. “If anyone is thirsty, let that person come to me and drink.” As they heard Jesus’ words, I wondered if they remembered the stories of how God provided in the desert? As they heard Jesus’ words, I wondered if their parents had handed down treasures of manna, birds and water? And if we find ourselves in the desert, could there really be rivers of living water flowing from us?

Devotion

The festival of booths or festival of Tabernacles was the greatest of feasts for Jewish people. For 8 days some of the practices included people leaving their homes and camping out in “booths” in community to remember the 40 years in the wilderness. They would listen to teachings, they would tell stories of how God sustained them in the wilderness. It was also a time of rejoicing, marching, praying, and cleansing with many centering rituals and images. A time of remembrance and revelation.

So, when Jesus stands up on the last day of the feast, what a proclamation for those with the collective memory of the trauma of the wilderness. “If anyone is thirsty, let that person come to me and drink.” As they heard Jesus’ words, I wondered if they remembered the stories of how God provided in the desert? As they heard Jesus’ words, I wondered if their parents had handed down treasures of manna, birds and water? And if we find ourselves in the desert, could there really be rivers of living water flowing from us?

If Jesus is our source, then yes. If the Spirit’s flowing river is tapped, yes. In my devotional yesterday, I wrote of the places where we need to be filled back up as God declared God’s own self the great shepherd of the people of Israel. Today, Jesus echoes his Father’s character and says, “If you are thirsty. Dry. Parched. Weary. Come to me. I have wells of living water in me.” Jesus promises that our throats need not be parched. Our souls need not stay dry. Our bodies can be renewed and rejuvenated. If we are a desert, Jesus is the deep well within. And we in turn will become wells where the flow of God’s wild and wise Spirit flows to bring life to the parched places of our workplaces, homes, communities.

Reflect

I read once that 40% of the time our thirst mechanism is so faint, that it is often mistaken for hunger. How is thirst different than hunger in your soul’s life? Where do you feel parched? In a relationship? In a project? In body/spirit?

Act

Sunset teas: As a centering ritual, enjoy a cup of tea or favorite beverage at sunset. Sit down, slow down, drink up and be mindful of Jesus’ presence.

Pray

God of the thirsty, quench our thirst. Show us how we have thirsted after other things that have left us parched of your presence and panting for your living water, as the deer does. We long after you. We thirst for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. You alone are our heart’s desire. You alone are our strength, our shield. To you alone may our spirit yield. May we drink of your living waters that we may be conduits of your living water. Amen.


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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the HIgh Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Life From Within


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