Thursday 19th March
Water has always been important – right from the start. Life relies on water. In Genesis chapter 1 we read that the Spirit of God hovered over the waters to bring life. In chapter 2 we encounter streams coming up from the earth and watering the whole surface of the ground. A river flowed out of Eden watering the garden and separating into four headwaters that produced fruit wherever they flowed. In the Bible, water is always linked to the life of God. Jesus would eventually sit by a well and say to a woman searching for meaning and hope in her life, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) On the last day of the festival of Tabernacles, Jesus calls out to the crowd, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)
It is life-giving to get caught up in the river of life that flows from the presence of God. Ezekiel sees this river of God trickling out of the Temple and picking up speed and depth as it goes. It becomes the mighty river that you can only swim in and get carried along by the current. And wherever this river flows there is life (Ezekiel 47:9) both in the river and along the banks of the river. The image is one of abundant fruitfulness as well as healing.
Where do you find yourself today in the great river of God? Are you just looking at it or maybe paddling in the edges or finding yourself wading carefully through it or swimming in the current that takes you wherever it goes? The river is sometimes enticing and sometimes quite scary but always full of the Spirit. And wherever it flows it produces fruit – within us and around us. Ezekiel was asked “do you see this?” as he looked at the mighty river of God (v6). Close your eyes for a minute. What do you see as you reflect on this river of life? Ask God to draw you in a bit deeper and to produce fruit in and around you as you get caught up in his current.
Reflection by Tim Montgomery