December 29, 2012

Thirsty for the Spirit

John 7:37-42

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
—John 7:37-38


The end of the year nears. Soon Christmas will be only a memory. Who knows what we will face in the new year? Do we have enough trust in God’s care to face the uncertainties of the coming year?

We thirst for assurance. That is the reason newspapers and broadcasts feature forecasts and predictions. Economists, politicians, and health care experts tell us what to expect and what to prevent.

Jesus invites us to believe in him. He tells us that when we believe, we will be equipped for the future. Jesus uses the image of “living water” that he had used earlier when he spoke to a woman at a well (John 4:10). The prophet Isaiah used water as a picture of joyful, renewed living, guided and satisfied by “the Lord … always,” “like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11). John explains that the living water Jesus spoke of is “the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”

Things of the Spirit are difficult to understand. Does the image of living water help? For the woman at the well (John 4), it meant new life beyond the shame of broken relationships. To Isaiah it meant God’s presence and daily blessing.

For us, soon after Christmas and before another year, it can mean that God, Jesus, Immanuel, stays with us and in us—by his Holy Spirit!

Lord, guide us always, satisfy our needs in a sun-scorched land, and make us “a well-watered garden” for your sake. Amen.

About the author — Morris Greidanus

Beginning in 1964, Morris Greidanus served churches in Alberta, Ontario, and Michigan. He was campus pastor at the University of Toronto from 1968 to 1974. After retiring in 2002, he served on various interim tasks in churches and educational institutions until he passed away in 2017. Morris and his wife, Alice, were married 58 years and had three children, five grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

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