LIVING WATER

ffynnon-fair-cefn-001.jpgTHEY SAID to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves…

The Samaritan woman is able to attract the people of her village to the Messiah because she has met him and received from him the Living Water. She is able to lead the people to where he is, that they might also drink. They meet Christ, drink the Water and so believe. They are Saved.

But what does all this mean for us? What is the Living Water? How do we get it and how do we bring the people to receive it for themselves? After all, we can’t just go down to the local well and meet Jesus there, can we? And we can’t then run back to Crofty, or Llanmorlais, or Pernclawdd, or Llanrhidian and tell everyone to come and meet the Messiah.

We can’t even go down to St Illtyd’s well by Llanrhidian church and get that water either, can we? Well, no, and then again, yes we can. We can do all of these things.

There are clues all over the place in our readings today and throughout the Bible. But the clues are particularly intense in John’s Gospel. Here’s one very powerful clue: ‘…the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth… God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’

And another – ‘Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’

Jesus teaches as a spiritual master teaches. There is nothing literal here. Jesus uses metaphor to take us to the deeper reality, to the essence of being. This essence of being is not mortal, it is Divine. True being is enlivened, animated by Holy Spirit. It is the true nature of our being, made in the image of God. To become conscious of the animating Spirit is to drink of the Living Water. This is the Water for which all souls cry out, consciously and/or unconsciously. Everyone we can ever meet in our lives is thirsty for this Water. That’s why Jesus says ‘the harvest is ripe.’ But he also says ‘the workers are few.’ A traditional interpretation of that is that not enough people are willing to go out and bring in the harvest for God. For me, that’s not quite right. There have been times when the church has been pumping with ministers, congregations and evangelists. But I don’t think all that necessarily brings in the harvest at all. I sense that what Jesus is talking about is that there are but few who are qualified to do the harvest.

This qualification is not any kind of material or worldly qualification. It can’t be gained by studying theology or training to be a priest or evangelist. It can’t be gained by working out the most profound philosophical or scientific argument at any given time or even of all time. Rumi says …the Man of God is not learned of book but made wise through truth. The qualification Jesus speaks about, the only qualification that is relevant, is simply that of drinking the Living Water and in so doing to become conscious. That’s it! That’s all. In becoming conscious, we worship in spirit and truth. All the trappings of religion, education, false perception, judgemental thinking, need to control or cling, well they just crumble and die, fade into the dust, blow away in the wind. When we have this Water, when we worship in Spirit and Truth, we are ready to make the harvest. Until we do it, it doesn’t matter how ripe the harvest, we can’t do anything to help.

I mentioned Illtyd’s well and I truly believe you can find the Living Water there. I expect Illtyd did, just as St David did on the cliffs of West Wales and Teilo in the Pwll Du Valley. But they found it not by any kind of magic. It was their sensitivity to the thin place. If the well helps you to be sensitive then go there. But the true thin place is within your heart. You don’t actually need to go anywhere to find it. Just stay, right here, right now. The gate to the kingdom of heaven is open. The harvest is ripe. God bless you.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on March 20, 2017.

2 Responses to “LIVING WATER”

  1. Thank you.

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