Water is essential to embodied life: Not only are human beings 60 percent water, but we last only three days without drinking it. For those who lived in the semi-arid world of the Mediterranean basin, the reliable water of rivers was a valuable resource.
This passage tells us that the water flowing from the divine throne of God the Father and Jesus the Lamb is remarkably pure and “bright as crystal.” Further, it is found splashing up and out of the center of the street—available to all, unlike clean water in the Roman Empire and in many places today.
Water language describes God’s presence throughout the Bible. For instance, Ezekiel 47:1-12, Joel 3:18, and Zechariah 14:8 all depict water flowing from the future Zion—that perfect kingdom in which God dwells with God’s people. Jesus describes himself as the water of life throughout the Gospel of John (see John 7:37 and 4:14). And the Holy Spirit is poured out and fills people like water.
But there is perhaps a deeper meaning to the symbolic biblical language of water. To know God is to be connected to the source of all life. By God’s grace, we get to drink the living water—in eternity, yes, but also here and now. We get to taste what it means to be alive. We get to bathe in divine waters and know that God, like water, sustains us, cleanses us, and comprises our very being.
As we are reminded in the sacrament of baptism or even by a hot shower, cool glass of water, or a walk by the sea, the physical and the spiritual are not separate. God gives us the blessing of life through the living water. And we are constantly reminded of this grace if we have eyes and hearts to see.
God of living water, thank you for sustaining us. Amen.
As we near the end of our Easter celebration, we begin to wonder: What do we do when the party is over? God meets us in this place of uncertainty by offering transformative blessings through this week’s readings—a word that grounds us in our God-given identity while calling us to a greater purpose in the world. This divine mystery asks us to hold in tension the grace of God, who gives us gifts we do not earn, and the call of God toward action. Psalm 67 bestows on us the blessing and call of God’s radiance. John reminds us of the blessing of peace and the call of integrity. The conversion of Lydia in Acts invites us to create space for mysterious interplay between the divine and human action. Revelation reminds us of the blessing of life and reconciliation. Holding all these things is made possible through the Holy Spirit, who plays a prominent role in many of the readings this week.
Read Psalm 67. How do I radiate the blessing of God? How do I share this light and experience the brilliance of others?
Read John 14:23-29. Think of a time when you were able to hold peace and pain together. How did you recognize the Spirit’s presence with you?
Read Acts 16:9-15. What does it mean to you to be sent by the Holy Spirit?
Read Revelation 22:1-5. How do you experience the blessing of living water? Who do you believe is beyond saving? How do you think of them in light of the blessing of reconciliation promised in Revelation 21 and 22?
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