In John Chapter 7, Jesus describes the abundance of God’s Spirit as a river of living waters, a river that suddenly flows into the people of God as mighty water. John’s writing reminded me of the waters of the Merrimack. Waters rushing this week swelled by melted snow up north and the cleansing spring rains of the past week.
The Merrimack “riverscape” changes seasonally but today it churns and rages as it flows down toward the Atlantic. Today this living water is the source of fun for kayakers, habitat for fish and wildlife, and the key ingredient for Budweiser Beer. Generations ago it was the lifeblood that powered the American Industrial Revolution. The mills along its banks in Manchester, Nashua and Lowell stand in tribute to the blessing of a river whose depth varies with the season, but gives life even on the driest of summer days.
But water images can be overwhelming… Sometimes the demands of life drown out what matters most. Relationships and jobs seemingly dry up overnight. Our cups go from seeming half-full to half-empty. Our hearts and mouths get parched and we thirst for meaning. We yearn for living water to quench our thirst and sustain us.
Jesus says, come drink. Be drenched in this water which is the Spirit. You will drink in the abundance, and life-giving water will flow from deep inside you. Here at By The Way the waters of the Holy Spirit move, flow, sustain and enrich in many ways. From conversations over coffee, tea or a beer, connections through Facebook, blog, IM or cell, to prayer lifted and concern for one another. The Spirit moves in and through us all, often whether we sense it at the time or not.
Jesus came so we as individuals, and together in community, may have life and live it abundantly. Life lived here and now in the Merrimack River Valley, and life forever, where we will never thirst again. The creator moves upon the waters, breaths through the rush of wind and flame, and makes us living vessels filled with God’s Spirit with living water to share with others.
Come on in, splash around, the waters mighty fine!