Pause for Thought August 2018

The line from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Perhaps it can be adapted to fit our present circumstances at the time of writing – “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop in the East Midlands.”

Perhaps we have been reminded of how a precious a commodity water is, as we’ve watched our lawns turn to straw and fruit begin dropping off the branches early because of the lack of water. It feels like 1976 all over again. Bishop Liverson and his wife commented on how green and blessed our land was when they visited us from Kenya earlier in June. Not so green now. Rain is a blessing in Kenya, not something the weather presenters feel they must apologise for in their forecasts over here. Maybe these weeks have reminded us not to waste our water or to take it for granted.

Water is used symbolically many times in the Bible. In Psalm 42, the Psalmist writes, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

In the baptism service we often hear the words, “We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.”

Perhaps by the time you read this the rain will have fallen and our gardens will be refreshed and healthy again.

But what about us, when we feel parched or dry or a bit withered? What sort of water might revive us? In his conversation with ‘the woman at the well’ Jesus says to her as she comes to draw water from the well in the heat of the day, “those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

And later in John 7 we read, “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’”

I hope there is plenty of sunshine for the children during August, but also enough rain for our land too. And if you are going through a parched time, I hope you can find water and refreshment for your soul.

Rev Dave Maylor.