Blessings through water revealed in scripture

Pulpit Reflections

With everyone spending time at the lake and the pool, and with all the rain we have had lately, it got me thinking about how important water is not only in our lives, but also in the Bible. Some of the biggest events in our scriptures center around water.

We have the story of Noah’s Ark. God tells Noah to build a large ark long before there is a cloud in the sky. Then Noah gathers two of every animal just as the rain begins to fall. Noah and his family hear rain for 40 days. But in the end, God puts a rainbow in the sky as a sign that God will never destroy the whole world again. (Genesis 6 - 10) 

Many people will remember the famous movie The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses. In Moses’ life there are many scenes that involve water. Moses is put in a basket floated on the river where the Pharaoh’s daughter is bathing. 

Later there is the plague where the river water runs red with blood. And there is the amazing scene where Moses parts the Red Sea so the Israelites can escape slavery in Egypt.

Part of our baptism liturgy refers to Jesus being born in the water of the womb. And that we are baptized in water and the Spirit. 

We have Jesus’ own baptism story where he is baptized by his cousin John the Baptist in the River Jordan. And we hear a voice from heaven saying, “This is beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

In our New Testament we have many occurrences of water. Jesus earthly ministry begins with a very usual occasion. Jesus and his mother Mary are at a wedding when they run out of wine. Mary, as many mothers ask their sons, asks Jesus to resolve the problem. And then the unusual happens as Jesus turns water into wine.

One of my favorite paintings by Rembrandt is “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” It shows all the disciples reacting in different ways to the storm tossing their boat around while Jesus is asleep. They are frantic and frightened and wake Jesus saying, “Don’t you care that we will drown?” Jesus calmly stands and rebukes the wind and says, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus walking on water is a scripture that most people are aware of in some small way. Jesus has sent the disciples on a head in the boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. When they are two-thirds of the way across, they see a figure coming toward them on the water and they are terrified. Jesus says, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (John 6:20)

Our bodies are more than 60 percent water. We can only last three or four days without water, so it is no surprise that such an important ingredient to life is part of so many stories in our scriptures, also essential for living an abundant life. 

We have the assurance that the Lamb at the center of the throne will be our shepherd; He will lead us to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Revelation 7:17) 

As you enjoy the rest of your summer, especially times involving water, remember that God blesses us in so many ways through water. 

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