On the last day of the festival, …. Jesus …. 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.’ ” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive….. (John 7:37-39 NRSV)
Teetotalers read no further
“After the day I’ve had, I need a drink” is like a mantra for many. Thirst, but more than thirst, is expressed. A deeper need or longing for refreshment or perhaps self-medication.
A glass of wine is placed in front of us and we admire its colour, swirl it to catch the nose, take a small palate targeted sip to check its flavor. And then the warmth and buzz comes - more slowly for some than others. There can be a hint of snobbishness around our various tasting practices.
Jesus liked good wine, but he called out saying He was a beverage that offered something deeper for our longings after “the day I’ve had” or whatever is going on in our life. Take this little snippet from his life and let all your senses respond.
Let the story swirl around you to catch its fragrance, admire what light is refracted from it and drink deeply of it for your refreshment. Jesus yells in our marketplace, “Come to me for the refreshment you truly need for those deep longings you sometimes self-medicate.”
This week in Lent, take the same care you’d invest in exploring a wine, to engage a story from Jesus’ life, words from Jesus’ lips and let the Spirit burn deep in your soul.
A Prayer for today
Loving God, your Son turned water into wine for the joy of the wedding party. As we enjoy the good gifts of food and drink let us also hear your call to savour something deeper. You know our needs for comfort in sorrow, safety in anxiety, courage to face our fears – and our predisposition to self-medicate through unhealthy consumption of goods, food, drink and whatever soothes us temporarily. Open our ears to hear you calling us to drink deeply, to savour and be refreshed by the water of the Spirit – to empower us to love and good works…. For Jesus’ sake