Thursday, May 8, 2008

Living Water

This week's scripture are Isaiah 55: 1-5, John 7: 37-39 and Acts 2: 1-21

All these images link together. Isaiah invites us to come to the water; to recieve the gift of an everlasting covenant. Jesus promises that "springs of living water shall flow from with [us]." And the Acts passage tells us something about what it looks like when the Spirit comes and we overflow.

I don't know about you; but I could certainly use some of that water this week. Let's start with the fact that this is the latest I've ever posted my blog about the upcoming sermon. This week was the last week of the semester. Papers were due, exams to be taken (one in statistics....and some of you know how numerically challenged I am). A wedding last weekend. A friend in crisis. A client in jail. Some days you feel like you're in the middle of a 'spiritual blanket toss.'

I could really use some of that water.

That was what I was telling myself when I sat down to write this blog.....Then, I had to take a break to go lead a therapy more thing I had to do before I could go home and get some sleep.

And the funniest thing happened. One of the men in the group openned up about a painful part of his life. Something he hadn't talked about for years. And the man across the room from him said, "yeah, that happened to me too." Around the room, one by one, men began to share...not just their pain; but their care for each other.
They made sure that guys who'd had a really hard time in group tonight had phone numbers so that they could call each other if they needed to talk. Two of them made plans to go hear a third play in a band over the weekend.

I didn't have to do much. Just sit back and drink from the well that opened up when one man had the courage to share his pain and have a community of men gather around him.

When I sat down to write this blog tonight, I said to myself, "I certainly could use some of that water." Obviously Someone was listening. Isn't it amazing the places where the Holy Spirit moves and wells of living water spring forth.

Hope we'll see you Sunday.



Anonymous said...

This is the sort of thing I need to remember as a teacher too. Aside from the lessons, I worry about how to address all the challenges adolescents face today. But sometimes, rather than force my answers on them, I can just take a little time out of class to let them air what's on their mind. Sometimes this creates an opening for me and other times it gives them the chance to take care of each other. It's nice to remember that God is a step ahead of us!

Anonymous said...

How does one deal with the fact that we are thirsty? It is so difficult to wait or perceive the "water" most of the time. I want the water now! Does it need to be a crisis, or do I need "tongues or fire" and a huge storm to make me see? The patience to greet the silence - in the Kara's class or in the larger classroom - and allow that space for the others to speak. When does it come to us? One of my friends at church nailed I think - in our vulnerability. Too bad everything we are taught by society and our culture prevents us from showing our weak spots to each other.

Thankfully, people like Stephen are working to overturn our cultural conditioning!