…Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-52 During the Feast of Booths, a libation of water is poured out at the base of the altar in the Temple, flows down the Temple steps into the outer courts. It is here that Jesus boldly asserts himself as this flowing water that goes out not only to all the Jewish pilgrims who have gathered in remembrance of their ancestors dependence on God and his faithfulness during the Exodus, but also to those not within his physical presence and yet come to believe in him. Much like the Israelites, this pilgrimage we travel in Christ is not without testing. We doubt, we complain, we rebel and by the grace of God we remember. God is made known for us through the flowing, living Spirit of Christ’s life death and resurrection and today by our remembrance and praise, we are his evidence of that flowing water.
…the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion… Philippians 1:11 Perhaps you can recall the day you first accepted the knowledge, life, death and resurrection of Christ as your salvation. Perhaps as well you recall the joy of having confessed shortcomings and now have the presence of the remembrance of Christ to help guide you through this journey. Perhaps you even recall the first time you mustered up the courage to share this experience with someone else. You’ve walked with high hopes, high expectations and no doubt “high” returns. You’ve considered the poor and needy and humbled yourself so as to understand that you also stand among them. Yet, even as no one else sees or understands, know that God sees and understands. He is merciful and well pleased. As the good work which God began in us guides us to one day see him face to face, we will also hear him say well done.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light;he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Lent: Day 39 – The time is come. No journey we take is ever without some kind of sacrifice along the way. Inevitably, it happens that we must lose something physically, emotionally or intellectually before we are able to understand its true significance in our lives. But any loss, that deepens a greater understanding of direction and purpose, becomes the light that liberates and enables us to press on with a strength we didn’t have before the loss. Christ is the Passover lamb sacrificed for those who believe in the power of that light. It is the light of the spirit that is left within us by our remembrance of that life and sacrifice which protects us as it leads our own life into glory that is everlasting.
Hebrews 10:16-25 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
Lent: Day 38 – After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them….I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:1-17, 31-35b
Holy Week – Maundy Thursday (Maundy – Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English maunde < Old French mande < Latin mandātum command, mandate)
Jesus’ ministry to the House of Israel and the ministry of his death and resurrection for the world began with washing. Washed by the blood of Christ, so too our journey to Jerusalem (ministry) begins and ends in service to one another. Let us understand today that we are not in competition with one another but rather the forces of this world, which seek to cover us in its darkness. But in the same way, others before us kept walking in the light of Christ ministry and love for us, so we too must keep walking. Because of this, the spiritual journey we walk together never ends and the goal of reconciliation is always at hand.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
John 13:1-7,31-35 ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’