You cannot judge yourself because you are biased. The correct assessment of your existence is seen in those you influence. Is it for good or for ill? Do you promote life and health?
For we are supposed to be influencing and allowing others to grow. Central Otago is dry, and if you do not have a well, or spring, or irrigation rights, not much can grow: without this you cannot even build or live. There is not enough rainwater. This has been a new experience to live through: I grew up in the North Island, where it rains, and most family homes in the outer suburbs have rain tanks, which is still the case.
Relying on a spring is a new experience. But Christ says that our of us living waters should flow.
We are not supposed to be a desert.
John says that Christ is talking about the Spirit of God. True. For left to our own devices, we would develop our own hell and call it a mystery. Our hearts are deeply wicked, and we do not understand them.
It is by the will of God that any good is done in this fallen world. But know that many who say that they are of God will oppose this: using proof texts as needed.
37On 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, 38and 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.'” 39Now 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.
40When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” 41Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” 46The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” 47Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, which does not know the law – they are accursed.” 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, 51“Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” 52They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”
There is a scandal in our church. Not merely the Papists — though this could destroy the current Pope, who is up to his hocks in the filth — but wherever we have allowed predators in.
The press, which have hounded the Protestant groups, and the Catholics locally, is quietly silent about this Pope. Or the scandal of the Unitarians. But these stink of sulfur, and life is not in them. The narrative can leave the broken alone until another victim is needful.
We need to clean up. We need to be a place of life, hope and safety.
The older generations ensured that Children were seen to be safe. Which allowed even those of middle age go take a lot more risks than modern children are allowed to. I knew my limitations early: Bullrush, bush walks and confidence courses taught me that.
Do not listen to those who would bend, spindle and mutilate scripture to make a political point. The gospel is greater than the issues of this day. The role of the church is preach Christ crucified for our sake, and risen.
And to worship no other: for if we do not abide in Christ the spring of living water that should be our life becomes instead a hoarded pool of giftedness, turned inward, going rancid, and people will use us as a proof text and curse God because of us.
Do not be that.
- And we had dances where you did not need to bring a date. Chaperoned. Safe. Frightening: more so than walking over Burmese Bridges 10 m above rocky ground. With no safety harness.