Water

09/09/2011

Water has been quite the topic of discussion here in south-central Pennsylvania as of late. After receiving a glancing blow from Hurricane Irene, tropical storm Lee dumped a historic amount of water on this area and caused wide-spread flooding. One family from our church had to flee their house in the middle of the night, abandon their truck and walk through chest-high water to safety.

Several months ago I had asked this family if they had a suggestion for a good site to hold an outdoor baptism. They answered that the creek next to them had a calm, deeper spot up the road and might work nicely--the same creek that fueled this terrible incident.

Water from this source can be used to facilitate the cleansing of sin but it can also destroy. The world around us seems to be similarly divided: one family in a cul-de-sac will tell you that Jesus Christ is the important thing in the Universe while their next-door neighbors practice atheism; a child’s recovery from illness is seen as both a miracle and a lucky response to medication; and some view the earth as a meticulous creative gift from an all-powerful God while others view it as a by-product of cosmological happenstance. The name “Lee” even means “protective shelter!”

Two thousand years ago, a carpenter’s son died on a cross.. For some, the story is a fable. For others, the story is just a sad end to a nice guy’s life. And for the rest of us, it means everything. Romans 3:24 says “all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” That’s the truth. Some will choose to believe that and some won’t. Few things breaks my heart like the knowledge that some people who loved each other on this planet won’t get to spend eternity together because one of them believed the truth and one didn’t.

Here’s another truth: this world will continue to topple and shift, rise and fall, burn and freeze. Counties will flood while nations endure drought. Sometimes the water will quench our thirst and sometimes it will threaten our lives. This was not God’s design, but here we are. For every snapshot of a sparkling waterfall there is also an image of a roaring tsunami. Half the world is in light while the other half is dark. And so it goes.

If the world were not like this, we wouldn’t need a Savior. If we knew the trail, we wouldn’t need a guide. The water might not know what its purpose is, but within each of our hearts is an echo of the eternal that is waiting to be heard. On your coffee table there is an embossed envelope containing an invitation to eternal life in Heaven.

Will you accept the invitation or throw it out like junk mail?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray today for those who don’t know you and don’t know about the sacrifice you made for them. And I am sorry that they don’t see you when they look at me. Empower me today to humbly serve, boldly proclaim and selflessly love just as you did. Amen.

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Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. – John 4:13-14

 

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