From our Moderator   Living Water

 

As I write this, we have had no rain for weeks. The grass is brown, the flowers are wilting, our seven water butts are empty, the media shows us pictures of reservoirs drying up, even the Lake district faces a hosepipe ban. There are dark whispers of the famous 1976 drought.

 

We got up last week, only to find that we had no water supply. No water in the kettle for a drink, no water for a shower, no water to flush the toilet, no water to wash clothes or pots. We reported it and the water company came out to try and fix the problem.

 

It seems that there had been a burst in the water main a few metres down the road from us and precious water was gushing from the burst main.

 

Machinery arrived, trenches were dug and men sweated in the hot sun to repair the breach. Towards the end of the day the pipe was repaired and the supply was re-established. Thankfully we had water once again.

 

The following day we got up, only to find that once again we had no water. Once again we reported it, and again out came the men from the water company. This burst required a lot more work, and the replacement of two long lengths of water main. At present the road is still closed for traffic, but thankfully the water supply is back to normal.

 

They say, “Once bitten, twice shy”. Now as a precaution, we fill the kettle, a jug, and the dogs water bowl before we go to bed each night.

 

We take so much of our infrastructure for granted, in our complex interdependent society, and water is right at the top of the list. We only need to be without water for a day or two and we begin to have problems.

 

The episode reminded me of an incident from our time in the Northwest. One of our village churches like others in our land had been struggling to maintain its existence. Although The village had grown, the work had become too heavy for its aging congregation.

 

Eventually the members decided that sadly the church would have to close its doors, and the building be sold to developers. The closure was announced in the local news sheet.

 

Then a strange thing happened, the village residents who never came to church, raised a petition which they presented to the lay pastor, demanding that the church remain open.

Of course by then it was far too late, and the church did close its doors, leaving the village community much poorer in a whole variety of ways.

 

Towards the end of an important feast in Jerusalem, Jesus stood up and said to the people:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

 

The problem was that by the time the people responded it was too late for Jerusalem. The supply of living water was cut off, as outside the city in the sweltering midday sun the source of that living water said “I thirst”.

 

However, although it was too late for Jerusalem, the supply of living water was restored after three days, as Jesus was raised from death, and that water was diverted into the whole world so that wherever the church maintains its witness, there is a standpipe in the form of a cross, and whoever comes to Him as he said can drink and even become themselves a source of that living water.

 

May God bless you and refresh you this summer and always.

David