As I write this column my garden is getting the first rainfall in about a month. It’s desperately needed — the lawn is the colour of straw, bare patches are starting to appear and some of my young veg plants are struggling to thrive. We take it for granted, but when water is in short supply things can’t thrive and when there is no water things die.
Like the plants in our gardens, we need water too. In fact, we can only last for a few days without it!
But in the Bible Jesus talks about another kind of water that’s even more important. He calls it LIVING WATER. According to the Bible, it doesn’t just bring happiness but deep joy; it doesn’t just keep us occupied but gives us a true meaning and purpose; and it doesn’t just quench our thirst for a while but lasts for all eternity. (You can read all about it in John 4.) This water, Jesus says, brings life in all its fullness, lasts through death and wells up to eternal life. This water, says Jesus, is what we are all really thirsting for. We might search for satisfaction in relationships or possessions or success and achievements or exotic holidays, but none of those things last. But Jesus says if we come to him, he will give us living water which will give us the kind of joy-filled contentment that we only taste in short measures elsewhere.
And what’s even more astonishing about this water is that it is FREE and available to ANYONE!
The woman Jesus was speaking to about this living water was a tabloid editor’s dream and about as scandalous as you could get. What’s more as a Samaritan woman she was someone a respectable Jewish Rabbi would not go near. And yet Jesus not only spoke to her, he offered her living water to satisfy the thirst she had been trying to quench her whole life.
And he offered it to her as a gift, as he does to us. Jesus said he will GIVE this living water to all who come. But whilst it’s free it isn’t cheap — because living water, this offer of forgiveness and eternal life, came at the cost of Jesus’ own life on the cross. Jesus took our shame, our sin, our failures and the punishment we deserve upon himself on the cross, paying it all off. And as a result, the spring of the water of life is now open for all to come.
So I wonder if you are thirsty for something more, something truly satisfying, something that will last? If so, come to Jesus. Because he is the keeper of the spring and he’ll give it to all who ask.
The free-ness of this living water is one of the reasons that churches across Stevenage are uniting to put on LOVE STEVENAGE on the second weekend in July. Why not come along to the café at St Nicks Church on Saturday 8th July from 3-5pm or come to the fun day at Hampson Park on Sunday 9th July from 2pm-5pm? And when you are there enjoying the free food, free fun and free drinks, why not ask someone about the free living water Jesus has to offer? There will be some copies of John’s gospel available where you can read about it for yourself. Why not take one away?
In my garden the rain is still gently falling and the garden is getting watered and nicely refreshed. How about you?