Rivers of Living Waters
By Art Smith, Council of Twelve Apostles
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and 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.'” -John 7:37b-38 NRSV
Water is essential for life. It washes and purifies. Water has been used in ritual around the world by many religions across time.
Water can also devastate. Christmas floods in the border regions of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay forced more than 100,000 people from their homes in 2015. Community of Christ’s Monte Caseros, Argentina, congregation was affected by the rising waters. The little church building sits on the outskirts of town where the Uruguay River bends around Monte Caseros and passes by the neighborhood to the east of the church. To the south lie a slum of improvised housing, the city dump, and the south bend of the same river.
I remember the walk from the Castro and Maidano home through that neighborhood, past the brickyard, past the corner of the garbage dump, and out to the river. Fifteen people had been captivated by the message of Community of Christ and were determined to be baptized. This was my first trip to Argentina. That day the river symbolized new life in Christ.
The river isn’t always blessing. January 2016 would see our little church in Monte Caseros bringing ministry to the flooded. Whatever happens with the river, those who have received the Holy Spirit are challenged to let that Spirit flow through them as disciples, so they can help the most vulnerable.
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.