On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (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) – John 7:37-39
It is dry in my part of the world this early winter of 2010. The weather experts say it will be dry through spring. When I go to the country and go down gravel and dirt roads, the dust is like powder — so fine that it seeps in through the seals on the doors and windows. Winter wheat and oats are stymied green shoots just out of the ground because there is not enough moisture to help them grow.
Our lives, our spirits, can feel parched and dry. All the big religious celebrations in the world can’t remove this dryness. They may make us forget it for awhile, but just for awhile. Our thirst can only be slaked by the Spirit of the Living God. Jesus poured out the Spirit when we first became his true followers. Yet even with the ongoing presence of the Spirit within us, we can lose sight of the living water within us. So let’s draw close to Jesus and ask that the Spirit’s presence have greater influence, power, and refreshment in our inner being.
O Father, God Almighty and God who is near, help me to sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. May the Spirit have great influence over my heart and my behavior. I willingly offer myself to be shaped, empowered and refreshed by the Spirit as I am conformed to be more like Jesus. It is in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.