DATE: 21 February 2016
TO: Manantial de Gracia
YEAR: Are you ready? For God has Made a New Thing…
TITLE: Are you grounded? WATER…! (Estas connectad@? AGUA…!)
Are you grounded? WATER…! (Estas connectad@? AGUA…!)
Today there are many problems that we are dealing with as a community. Many of these problems stem from issues of opression and abuse of power… Today we get to talk about one of those grounding realities… Water.
Without breath humans are usually unable to survive after 3 minutes without breathing. In tempertures and environmental situations like winter and snow, we can survive about 3 hours without shelter. Even though we will be insuferable and unkind and short tempered and forgetful we can survive about 3 weeks/21 days without food. But after a mere 3 days we NEED water. As we know, without water we cannot live, despite this PEOPLE HAVE SURVIVED 8-10 days without water.
The First mention of water is in the very beginning of the breakthrough of creation: Genesis 1:2 “and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters.”
But it is in the second mention of water in Genesis 1:20 “…Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life…” That we realize CREATIONS connection to water. From water springs forth life. From water we gain strength. From water we are born. From water we are birthed… In the physical sense.
According to Nicodemus in John 3, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” As we heard in last weeks sermon, Adam was made of dirt and water that has been sculped by God and into whose lungs God breathed life. And each person that has been birthed after Adam and Eve has been protected in water during our gestational period. We are both spiritual and physical beings connected to the Divine. We cannot be born of the spirit without first being born into the physical…which came first the chicken or the egg?
Acording to scholars, there are 722 references to water in the Bible. Water is that important.
If I try to recall an aspect of most of our Hebrew Bible patriarchs it is the hunt for fresh water. It is in areas where families find water and/or where the wells are thriving that they stay. It is most often when the wells dry up and become barren that they leave.
And if we turn to the new testament it is in those similar situations and familiar places that Jesus makes impactful connections. He finds his followers fishing along the rivers edge. He meets them at the well. He helps them by turning water into wine. And teaching them that walking on water is possible… as long as they believe.
Today droughts are a reason for concern… We don’t have to travel to what some disrespectfully name third world countries to find water shortages. We can look at California: where one full week of rain is insufficient to rehydrate after four years of drought; California where 430,000 acres will be left fallow this year due to drought. California, with its 110 water bottling plants. Where in addition to Nestle, other big bottlers include Pepsi (which bottles Aquafina), Coca-Cola (which bottles Dasani) and Crystal Geyser. All bottled with water that the local population and travellers to the region must purchase in order to drink.
Water without which one cannot survive. Water without which plants become dry and brittle and die. Water which residents are fined for using to moisten and feed their grass…water that nature and all of the wildlife need for survival and sustainment.
Water is necessary for survival. Some of us have heard that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. And have repeated it as Biblically grounded truth though those words never appear in scripture. Though those words are infused in scripture as rememberances and laws of both spiritual and physical cleanliness.
As we heard Rachel share: (John 13:4-10 NIV) “so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.””
In Exodus 30:18 Moses was instructed to make a laver of brass and put water in it. This was to be kept between the Tabernacle and the altar and the priests were to wash their hands and feet in this when they went into the Tabernacle “that they die not”. They needed to be purified with water constantly. Over and over again. Water. Not just once in a while but all the time.
The Lord Jesus washes the disciples feet. They were already clean, but needed their feet washed. In the Christian life, we all need to be purified from the filth of this world, we all need our feet cleaned. With water and with the Word of God.
Water speaks to us of purification.
This is really linked to the previous consideration, but the following verses are interesting to ponder on. Concerning the nation of Israel in a future day, the following words are recorded in Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” This is a promise from God for a time when Israel returns to Her (see vs 24-38).
However, there is also clearly an application here for the sinner who comes to Christ when we compare this verse with Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Water speaks to us of spiritual life.
Water was necessary to the image of perfection we envision in the Garden of Eden. Watered by a waterfall…
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
1 John 5:12
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” Without water there cannot be life: Without the Lord Jesus Christ there cannot be eternal life.
Protect our environment.
Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”