I was reading over the scripture for a communion service I will be doing this week and I was thinking, "God? Couldn't you have given me something more to work with?" Needless to say, the passage I am going to reflect on is a little unfamiliar. It's not one of those that has a nearly built-in reflection.
Although I always take time to explore the depths of passages, this one, I thought would be a bit more challenging, so I settled in for a little study time with my Magnificat and my Bible.
The Old Testament passage from Ezekiel (Chapter 47:1-9, 12) describes a river flowing from a temple. Along the river, abundant life is apparent; fruit trees whose leaves never fade and whose fruit never fails, are watered. Fish are abundant and living creatures multiply. The river is truly life-giving, like Jesus Christ Himself.
In the Gospel reading from John (Chapter 5:1-16), we hear about a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years. He had been sitting by a pool of water, waiting for someone to put him in so he could be healed . . .
When you think about it, his life was small. He didn't do anything except wait by the water. A natural spring would bubble up and the idea was that the first one in would receive healing. Along comes Jesus who asks him, "Do you want to be well?" and he explains his predicament to Jesus. Jesus, by His Word, tells the crippled man to "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
When he does, we now understand, it is by Jesus' word that each of us is healed.
What pool of water are you sitting by today, hoping to change your life? Do you know that Jesus is the one to whom you should go if you want healing? If you want new life? Do not waste your time with that which cannot bring you new life. I wonder how often we invest in false hopes when the true giver of life, Jesus, is ever-present.
Take some time to think about this today and really consider if you, like the man near the water, are looking to the wrong source for new life.