Friday, January 8, 2016

Let Anyone Who Is Thirsty

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.'" Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, "This is really the prophet." Others said, "This is the Messiah." But some asked, "Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?" So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why did you not arrest him?" The police answered, "Never has anyone spoken like this!" Then the Pharisees replied, "Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed." Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, "Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?" They replied, "Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee." John 7:37-52 
I have found that the end of the holidays is a thirsty time. We anticipated the joys of family gathered at the holidays, we cooked and decorated and were filled. And now, Epiphany has arrived, full upon us and we are back to work and taking down decorations. We are more hungry and thirsty now, since the season of light and celebration is over for the year. I always find it hard, to stop writing the Mary letters at the coming of Epiphany. I love imagining and writing about a young woman so blessed and challenged at the same time. And then, it's back to normal and it makes me feel thirsty and a bit deprived.
Jesus spoke boldly in the temple about offering life and living waters. He wasn't arrested because the guards didn't think he mattered for much, didn't think a Galilean could be worth anything. In the presence of the living God, people were judging from their political and cultural values, not with their hearts. They didn't even know they were thirsty for God, because they were caught up in their own cultural roles and responsibilities. And we can, as we dismantle the holidays and return to our roles, get caught up in the tasks and miss the needs we have for God. We can busy ourselves and neglect the spirit that is crying out to us.
Today, I ask God to help me attend to my spirit and my relationship with God. May we be focused on prayer and service, and finding God in our daily challenges. May we yearn and thirst for God today, asking for the living water which will strengthen us in every challenge.

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