Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sensing Lent 10: Water

A quarter of the way through Lent and today I was thinking about water.

Another physical 'thing' with spiritual suggestions.
Three sprang to mind. 

First, fresh water over stagnant. Jesus stood up in Jerusalem and said 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture said, 'Streams from his belly shall flow, of running water' (John 7:37, Nicholas King translation). Flowing, not stagnant, always implying change and being plugged into the source.

Secondly, overwhelming. When water doesn't do what we want it to we all react as though it were possible to completely control nature. It would seem that only Christ was able to do that. The New Testament speaks ominously of the times when people will live in fear of the roaring of the sea (Luke 21:25), which is alarming if you take prophecy seriously. Water was a scary thing when the Thames broke its banks, this winter in the Thames valley and elsewhere. There's only one thing that is desirable when it comes to overwhelming: to be overwhelmed by God.

And thirdly, still waters. As in Psalm 23, 'He leads me beside still waters, for his name's sake'. Still waters are still fresh, they're just not out of control, churned up and chaotic. Still waters imply being settled and peaceful, still and content.  A very spiritually attractive image for life and for Lent.

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