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Faith Daily | 22 May 2021


PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER SEVEN APBA p519


O God,

you withdraw from our sight

that you may be known by our love:

help us to enter the cloud where you are hidden,

and to surrender all our certainty

to the darkness of faith

in Jesus Christ.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: John 7: 37-39


On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Cathy Grant


In this chapter we feel the mood against Jesus building. This passage takes place during the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the “big three” annual festivals requiring pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a festival for remembering God’s presence and provision for Israel during their wilderness wanderings. It is the last day of the festival, the great day of water ceremonies when the priest pours water into vessels around the altar, remembers God provenance, and prays for rain.


We can imagine the solemnity of the water ceremony with all attention on the priest as he moves around the altar pouring water and praying. And then the sudden shift in attention as Jesus “cries out,” interrupting, and suggests that those who drink of the water that he gives will themselves become sources of living water. It feels like a pivotal moment of great dramatic tension and powerful teaching.


In case John’s audience misses the metaphor, he makes it clear that Jesus is speaking of the Spirit – the Spirit which will be the abiding presence of Jesus once he is gone, guiding them, continuing his work in and through them as they are sent out on their mission – after Jesus is “glorified.”


This message was received then, as it is now, with mixed reactions – some declaring that Jesus was the Messiah; others fearful or derisive.


We too are invited to come and drink of the water that quenches all thirst. We are promised God’s abiding Spirit, God’s personal presence, living within us. We have only to believe. I pray that God’s Spirit will abide with us always, so that rivers of living water may flow from within us to a thirsty world.



FINAL PRAYER: Neil Thew


Come Holy Spirit,

enter our silences.

Come Holy Spirit,

into the depths of our longing.

Come Holy Spirit,

our friend and our lover.

Come Holy Spirit,

unmask our pretending.

Come Holy Spirit,

expose our lives.

Come Holy Spirit,

sustain our weakness.

Come Holy Spirit,

redeem our creation.

Enter our trusting,

enter our fearing,

enter our letting go,

enter our holding back.

Flood our barren spaces,

make fertile our deserts within.

Break us and heal us,

liberator of our desires.

Come Holy Spirit,

embrace us and free us.

Amen





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