The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Rivers of Living Water"

Last Friday's Daily Office reading, John 7: 37-52, is an inspired example of Jesus' gift with metaphor. In offering the crowd water, Jesus is restating a theme that we have seen once already, with the Samaritan Woman, and illuminating its scope:
[Jesus] claims that in Him may be found the fulfilment of all which this ritual [of libation at the Feast of Tabernacles] represents. Not only so, but those who slake their thirst at that spring will become themselves fountains for the spiritual refreshment of others. He thus carries further the teaching given to the woman of Samaria. (IV, 14). He who trusts in Christ not only receives the water of life that springs up to eternal life but becomes the source of that gift to others. For no one can possess (or rather be indwelt by the Spirit of God and keep that Spirit to himself. Where the Spiirit is, He flows forth; if there is no flowingh forth, he is not there.
Temple, Readings at 130.

Now, think of this metaphor--not just water--the sine qua non of life, that which makes farming, fishing, existence possible--the primary component of our physical makeup--but living water, that nourishes not only ourselves, but others. We become a source of that nourishment to others, as Archbishop Temple so aptly writes.

Or do we?

I look around at our Anglican Communion and see very little flowing out of the Spirit--much anger (in myself, as well as the ususal suspects) and much squabbling, and much fighting. And an occasional exercise of grace--like Peter Ould's rebuke to his own side that so struck me last month, or the calm confidence of a friend whom I won't name to spare his blushes, that all will be well, and we really have to get to work now--poor to be fed and housed--no time to worry about labels and coalition politics, thankee!

We take water for granted. Let us not take the Living Water, and those who become its fountains, for granted.

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