Water, water and more water in today’s scripture readings. The water in the passage from Ezekiel 47 starts as a trickle and ends up a river. The water is life-giving. It says “wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh… fruit trees of every kind shall grow… Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
The Gospel story from John 5 tells of a man who has been ill for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.
Jesus is the living water, the food for our souls and the healing medicine that was mentioned through water in the first reading. Today, Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be well. What would my answer be? Would I be just thinking about my physical ailments or go deeper knowing that I am sick in my sinfulness? Am I willing to rise, pick up my mat and walk in the light of Jesus? Later in the story, Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” This sounds like a stern warning to the man and to me. Knowing I am a terrible sinner, I can only stay well by the grace of God in his love and mercy. Oh how I hope to bathe in his living water forever. Amen.