No Bottle Needed
During the decades of my growing up, drinking water wasn’t a concern. You drank from the tap, a cold jug in the fridge or the garden hose in the back yard. Water was abundant and flowed like - well, like water! However, I’ve witnessed a transformation in our H2O habits. Our supermarkets are shelved with brands and bottles of various size and flavours. While I would never have thought of buying that which was so freely available, today everyone carries with them a bottle of water, drawn from a secret spring high in European glaciers. Gulping less than the daily quota of 8 bottles is a social faux pas. Some do it for health. Others do it for show, but to ensure that there’s something to sweat, people obsess about buying, carting and sucking from plastic bottles that will live for ever in land fill sites.
I am not against hydration. Water is life for our bodies--and life for our souls. Jesus defined Himself as Living Water. He quenches parched spirits. He refreshes and cleanses the interior regions of our lives. All of this is gospel - good news, but it gets even better. Jesus does more than offer us the liquid of life. Consider this.
Some think that we come to church to get our spiritual canteens filled. We load up on preaching, worship and fellowship - so we’ll have enough to last us all week and maybe have some left over to share with thirsty souls around us. We return week after week to fill up so we can endure life’s deserts. But that is not the image Jesus paints.
In John 7, He promises that all who believe in Him will have a well deep within. We will have an unending flow of living water. Jesus was speaking of the Spirit. The Spirit of God comes to the people of God to stream from us. We don’t go to some location or have some experience to replenish our souls. The pristine spring remains in us for all time and space.
I do not suggest that we overflow all the time. I recognize seasons of internal desert. I understand that we can clog and pollute the sweetness of His current. But none of that revokes the Spirit within us. He is the grace of God within us that cannot be lost. My dusty soul can be returned to verdant pastures by a surrender to the Spirit Spring within. I like the picture. Rather than carrying empty bottles--looking for a place to fill, we are walking fountains. We brim and splash with life and hope. I like the picture so much - it’s my primary prayer for you, our church and my own spirit.