Saturday, July 30, 2011

Emerging slowly sermon!

The beginnings of thoughts...

Isaiah 55: 1-5 & Matthew 14: 13-21 (31.7.11)

‘The Lord says this, “Everyone who thirsts come to the waters”’. I’m sure that we must all be able to recall the feeling of being thirsty? Of the satisfaction from a long, cool drink on a hot day, or even just that first cup of tea or coffee in the morning? Thirst is a sensation that’s essential for life – it tells us to drink. And if we don’t drink then we’re not going to survive for very long.

When I was a little girl, and because of the medical problem I had, I used to dehydrate very quickly. And one Christmas Day when I wasn’t very well at all, the doctor had been called. Apparently (so my mum tells me) I was trying to open Christmas presents while the doctor examined me and was then commanded to drink a giant jug of squash in his presence, and if I didn’t then I was going into hospital – Christmas day or no Christmas day!

It seems that I wasn’t very good at adequately responding to the ‘thirst’ sensation, or at least not adequately enough to compensate for lost fluids!

‘The Lord says this, “Everyone who thirsts come to the waters”’. And here is another sense in which we need to first recognise a thirst and second to come and drink.

Just as our bodies thirst for water or liquid to survive so we also have a need to thirst for God. (This thirst first brings us into relationship with God and once we’re there, keeps us thirsting for more of his presence).

On a hot day you don’t create your own thirst, the conditions create that thirst and you feel it, and in the same way God is even at work creating in people the thirst they need to come to him. He creates the thirst and then he satisfies that thirst!

When Jesus (as we read in John chapter 4) met the Samaritan woman at a well in the middle of the day, when they’d both have been hot, thirsty and aware of the water that was being pulled out of the well, he spoke to her not just of that natural water but of living water – living water that was the gift of God, living water that would well up like a spring and bring eternal life, living water that would leave her never thirsting again. That living water was Jesus himself and the Holy Spirit whom he would send – whom he would pour out, whom he would baptise us with. When we talk about the word ‘baptise’ we mean to drench or soak – just as we do when we baptise children or adults into the church using water – and even though, in our tradition, we baptise at the font I get as much water on them as I can! And in the same way we need to be baptised, drenched, soaked in the living water of the Holy Spirit – not as a one off experience, but as an ongoing soaking in God. Because your God wants to bring you real, wonderful refreshment like a long, cooling drink or a dive into the pool on a boiling summer’s day!

It’s not just in those beautiful words of God through Isaiah that we get this sense of the refreshing waters of God. In Revelation 22 (the very last chapter in the Bible) we hear this part of John’s vision: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

Another beautiful description of the refreshing water, the life giving water of God. And the thing is that God has these pools of refreshing water for us, but we need to come to the waters and get wet! The image is of the river flowing from the throne of God and flowing so that we might step into its waters and be washed, be refreshed, have our thirst quenched, and receive that spring that wells up to eternal life.

And furthermore, God says through Isaiah, that we’re only truly satisfied when we do come to the waters: When we come to the waters, when we eat of the food that needs no money to buy it, when we labour for the things that truly satisfy.

To be continued...!

LATER ADDITION... MY PEDANTIC, FUSSY SELF DOESN'T LIKE LEAVING SOMETHING UNFINISHED HERE, BUT IT REALLY WOULD BE A RIGHT PALAVAR TRYING TO GET THE REST FROM THE OTHER COMPUTER (AND MAY RESULT IN SIMILAR DISASTERS OF FORMAT AS THE NEXT POST HAS... SO HALF A SERMON IT IS... HOPE YOU MAY BE A 'BIT' BLESSED ANYWAY!)

1 Comments:

At July 31, 2011 1:33 am, Blogger Terri said...

I like where you are going with this, the metaphor of thirsting for God!

 

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