On Pentecost Sunday, we heard Jesus say something remarkable:
Jesus cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. Ask] the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heartl] shall flow rivers of living water.’”
From this small fragment comes incredibly Good News.
1) This is an open invitation. You don’t need to do a course on what you should believe about Jesus. You are invited. All are invited. All belong. It’s not about what you think or believe. It’s about faith.
2) Jesus calls us to drink God’s Spirit deeply. All too often we’re content to sip on what never satisfies rather than gulp down something deeper and eternal. What God wants to give lasts.
3) As Christmas reminds us, God didn’t hold her nose and enter the swampy mess of humanity because it was sinful and disgusting and not worthy. It is from the believer’s heart that the Great Source of all can flow – you are part of God’s eternal river. You are not just a fleshy bucket that dips from God’s eternal well. God is in you and in everything already! All things in this universe belong, are beautiful, and are sacred to God.
4) You are not defined by what you don’t have. You may feel dry today. You may have the dust of grief, loss and pain. But you are more than enough. You aren’t just a bucket that gets the odd drop of God’s grace if you’re a good little human. You are part of the River of everlasting grace that shall not end, even unto the end of the age.
Why draw from the well, when you can be the river?
Why tread water, when you can walk upon it?
Why walk, when you can fly?
You can listen to the sermon here if you want to get the back story to this week’s second cup.
Unfortunately our cultural ways of understanding will really twist what I think Jesus is saying here. It’s easy to translate these powerful prophetic words of Good News into the same dry worn out words we use all the time:
Don’t look at your cup as half empty. It’s half full!
Remember, someone’s always got it worse!
Smile! God loves you!
I’m not a cynic. I just thirst for something deeper.
These expressions are often a way to dismiss the legitimate struggles and pain people are suffering because to acknowledge it is to admit it’s real and we don’t know what to do with it (or them) let alone what God has to do with it.
In my ears and heart, this is not what Jesus is saying.
Remember: You weren’t made to be a bucket. You are created to be rivers of living water!
Jesus is not one to cover up suffering and loss. He endured so much in such a short human life. His resurrection is glorious precisely because Jesus didn’t deny the power of death. He overcame it.
What sustained Jesus is what sustains you and me and what’s kept our ancestors going within the Christian stream of that wild river for over 2000 years.
No matter what’s in your cup, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.
Father’s Day is coming up and I just wa