On Us All
John 7: 37-39
As the Holy Spirit’s presence fills this place, and our lives, may we rejoice that we have been granted repentance and the ongoing gift of His presence.
Are You Dehydrated
The patient’s heart was racing, even hours after lying down, it was still over 110 beats per minute. His temperature was over 102. The little energy that was left was being used up quickly as his legs and lower back would spasm and cramp.
Not sure of what was going on, the man would go to the emergency room, where after waiting 3 hours, he would hear the doctor say what he should have known.
Except that when you are severely dehydrated, you don’t always see things clearly, you don’t have the ability to process things. You can have all the data, you can know it all, yet the simple truth had to be given by someone else.
All of the symptoms, the fast pulse, the temperature, the scratchy throat, the cramps weakness and weariness, the mind-numbing fog, these symptoms were caused by a lack of water….
You would think someone who spent ten years living in the desert would be able to realize his need for a glass of water, or as the doctor recommended some 14-15 glasses of water.
Classic simple symptoms, classic simple cure – go home, drink nearly a gallon of water that evening and rest and you will recover…..
Hear again Jesus’ words to us this morning,
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me, Anyone who believes in me, may come and drink!
He almost sounds like the doctor I encountered in the ER….
There is a difference of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about physical dehydration, And what He would quench our thirst with, wasn’t Walmart or Costco 1 liter bottles, or even Evian or Perrier.
It is the Holy Spirit who would be outpoured, even as Moses desired, upon all who trust in Jesus’ promise, in the promise that goes back to the earliest of recorded time.
Before describing this out pouring of the Holy Spirit, I think we need to understand spiritual dehydration. Like physical dehydration, the symptoms that appear do so slowly….it creeps up on you, and all of sudden you feel anxious, disconnected, weary, and life is broken.
Sometimes the spiritual dryness, the dehydration is caused by internal struggles. Our thirst, not for God, but for pleasure, fame, wealth or even health and what ever is considered the good life. These desires enter us like a virus, and can never really be totally quenched. They simply demand more and more of us, until we are used up.
Sometimes the spiritual dehydration is caused by our reaction to external pressures. The job demands, the financial struggles in the world, the relationships that are stressed by sin and by self-centeredness. Seeing continual injustice, seeing people continually chase after what is best for themselves, even trampling others, seeing the brokenness that occurs when we don’t help those in trauma… and their struggles finally get attention on the news, having escalated beyond belief
It is not one of these things, but the accumulation of them that overwhelms us, and one day, we turn around and our heart is racing because of anxiety, or we find ourselves exhausted, drained, broken….. and we hear Jesus’s words,
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me, Anyone who believes in me, may come and drink!”
For the Promise of the Spirit is for us all
Today is the feast of Pentecost – a feast that began nearly 2000 years ago. A feast where those who thirst have that thirst quenched, whether it was 2000 years ago, or whether it is this morning. For what John writes in his gospel, we know to be true…
39 When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.
What hadn’t occurred when Jesus was teaching this, we celebrate having begun, and continues this day. That which is mentioned in the reading in Acts, as the people realized that Christ died, was indeed the One sent to save the world by that death. Hear that interaction again,
36 “All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!” 37 When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?” 38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. 39 For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:36-39 (TEV)
Those words resulted in some 3000 people being baptized, as the promise of Jesus to quench their thirst. For the Holy Spirit was poured out on them with the water of baptism, the promises of God made sure to them, to their little ones, even to those who would have been thought to be too far from God….
As Moses had desired, God poured out His Spirit upon them all. They came to trust in Him, to know that the cross was not just an instrument of death, but that it was the glory, the love, the mercy of God revealed.
Here is how Paul taught a young pastor named Titus,
4 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)
He generously poured out His Spirit upon us, He quenched our thirst, He gave us a new life.
A promise for you, for your children, and for all who are far off.
A promise He is calling some of you to receive….as like the people as Pentecost began, the Holy Spirit is cutting your heart open, revealing the thirst you have, a thirst for God’s love, a thirst for His peace. If that is you, let’s get together and see God quench your thirst. If you’ve already been baptized, if you’ve already drunk deeply of Christ, rejoice this day and every day, and look to Christ and know the peace He’s given you.
A peace that is beyond all understanding, a peace that comes as the Holy Spirit quenches our thirst, a peace for us to dwell in, guarded by Christ. AMEN?
Discussion Thought of the Day:
16 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17 Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (MSG)
My son starts first grade today…and I am thinking of new beginnings…
Sometimes we fear them, we don’t know what the new teacher will be like, or the new classroom. Sometimes we leap toward the changes, hoping that a new start will make everything right. The challenge is of course, what we take with us and what we are freed from, that falls, and is left forgotten.
Spiritually, each day and even each moment brings the same kind of new beginnings. We can find everything made new, reconciled, restored to the way in which God would have it, or we can dwell in the past, sure that people don’t change, that our spiritual debts can’t be cancelled, that life just simply trudges on.
The key to negotiating a successful change is not working harder, or promising to change how we do or think. If we focus on our own efforts, it we look to ourselves and others… then change is destiend to fail. Change is successful when we look to what Christ has done, when we look to how we are united with Him, how He has given us, really, a complete start…
Enjoy your new day… look at others and see Christ… rejoice in their sins, as well as yours being forgiven…
and if they don’t know this yet… it doesn’t mean that they cannot… for you are there to guide them on the first steps of this new journey…