The sandcastles have been precisely placed with a flag carefully inserted in each, the city walls have been built up and the streets decorated with shells and seaweed. Now it’s time for the moat to be filled with seawater – but now it’s also that sad time when children discover that sand doesn’t hold water and the moat will never be full.
Navvies knew that they often needed to line a newly-dug canal with clay if it were to hold water. Farmers knew that if there were no natural ponds on their land they could dig one as long as they could make it water-tight. But you wouldn’t expect them to go to all that trouble if there was already a reliable bubbling stream within a stone’s throw. Why put all that effort into building something that’s unnecessary and inferior?
Jeremiah expresses the Lord’s surprise and sadness at the wasted and foolish effort of Old Testament Israel in rejecting the God who was everything to them: "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
When your life feels like the dried and cracked bed of a pond that never holds any refreshing water it’s long past time to ask yourself whether you have been ignoring a bubbling stream that flows nearby. Here is Jesus’ answer to a woman who he met by a well and whose whole life seemed to be a series of painful relationships that had turned sour: “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
Later this month we are teaming up with local churches and students and staff from Capernwray Hall to offer a week of events that may help you to discover, or rediscover, the life-giving water that Jesus Christ offers to all. I do hope that you will join us. Further details are at www.burtonandholmechurches.org