They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
Paul says it so matter-of-factly: “and that rock was Christ.” But what does he mean by that in this letter to the Corinthians?
The community Paul was writing to in Corinth was struggling; they were complaining and had lost focus in a way like the Israelites had done in the time of Moses (see Exodus 14-17; 32; Numbers 20-21). But that doesn’t change the fact that life was actually hard. The Israelites had no water in the desert, and the Corinthians were in the process of starting a whole new way of life. It was undeniably hard.
Yet Paul was retelling this story as kind of a gracious warning, reminding the new Christians in Corinth that even though life was hard, Christ was still in their midst, providing them with the nourishment of the Spirit, in a way like the rock in the desert quenched the thirst of the Israelites long ago.
This is an invitation for all of us to consider when things make us upset or life becomes incredibly hard or burdensome. Will we complain and grumble? Will we become cynical and resentful? Or will we trust that the one who leads us in every situation will also provide the soul-satisfying water of life through the Holy Spirit? Take time to recognize the ways that Christ, the Rock, follows you through the deserts of your life, and list the ways he quenches your thirst.
Lord God, you never leave us or abandon us, even when our lives seem parched and dry. Soothe us with your Holy Spirit and refresh us with your never-ending love. Amen.
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