Jesus said some outrageous things. But one of the most outrageous may have been this:
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)
Rivers of water…flowing from within us. Our world is very much like Jesus’ world. It’s full of people who are thirsty for love.
Henri Nouwen once spent a week visiting an AIDS clinic in San Francisco. He offered to listen to the patients’ stories. And in them he heard the thirst for love that had never been quenched. After that, he prayed, “God, help me to see others not as my enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.” (quoted in Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace)
It makes me ask hard questions about myself. Is there a river of living water flowing from me? Quenching thirst? Busting up the draught? Is there a small stream? A faint trickle? What about you? Has your belief in Jesus transformed you into a fountain? Does your life provide the refreshing gulp of grace so desperately sought by those around you? Do we see people as thirsty? Does the church look like an oasis to our community? Or like a desiccant?