On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.' - John 7:37-38
I find myself driving along Route 9 often on the way to Stoddard or Concord. I have always enjoyed that road because of the beautiful rolling hills covered with thick trees, but especially because of the river that runs along the road for many miles. This spring, it has been flowing with vigor, often even with rushing power.
I don't know what it is about water that has always drawn me. I love to sit by rivers and waterfalls and watch the flow of the water. I love to watch waves roll into the shore at the ocean and love sitting by the lake even when it is as still as glass. Because I've always just loved water, I have a special affinity for Scripture passages that refer to water. And this Sunday there is a really beautiful one that tells me that streams of living water will flow out of my heart.
Our world and society tells us that there are limited resources and that we'd better hold back and protect what we have for fear of running out. But instead, Christ tells me that abundant life and love and energy flows from my heart in the same way that Otter Brook rushes down the side of Route 9. This love and energy is not something I generate myself, but comes from a source far away. It flows through me so freely that not only is there is no reason to hold back - I couldn't hold it back if I tried. God will work through me with or without my cooperation, and will continue to work around me even if I act like a stubborn boulder!
This is great news, because it reminds me that I do not have to be the creator of my own abundant living - that abundant life is rather a matter of simply stepping into the river and letting it wash me through and through.
On the upcoming Pentecost weekend, my family and I will be in Connecticut at the Kent School graduation. I anticipate a free flow of tears and sorrow, but also joy and gratitude being among CarlEmelia's many friends. It will be hard to be there, but would be harder not to be, so we appreciate your prayers. We'll be thinking of you all here at St. James celebrating the power of the Spirit that holds us all.