By Beth Bontrager, Mennonite Historical Library administrative assistant
This week’s theme: Show Us the Rock of our Salvation from which comes living water
This week’s Scriptures: Exodus 17:1-7 | Psalm 95 | Romans 5:1-11 | John 4:5-42
I carry my water bottle everywhere. It’s the “in” thing to do. Water fountains often have refill stations for water bottles. Cars have bottle/beverage holders. Bicycles and shopping carts have drink holders. Even “no drinks” venues often allow closed containers of water to be brought in.
Athletes drink lots of water for rehydration. Others drink for system cleansing. Parents carry water in case a thirsty child gets cranky in an inconvenient place. Folks bring their beverages into the worship space. I drink water constantly because of kidney disease. Hydration is a necessity of life.
Yet this week’s theme juxtaposes two diametrically opposed items: Rock and Water. Water is fluid. Rock is solid. So, what’s this water of life coming out of an impermeable rock?
I think the People of Israel had been given the Rock of Salvation to guide their faith journey: solid tablets with the Ten Commandments. But in the desert, etchings on rock tablets seem irrelevant to thirsty people. Physical thirst tosses faith, promises and law out of mind. The People of Israel want real water immediately, never mind symbolism or promises. A rainstorm or flood would be great. They yell at God and Moses, whining “You’ve brought us here to die!” They see only the desert around them, not the future for the faithful, a land flowing with milk and honey.
In exasperation, God gives them both a rock and water—from the rock. But their lack of faith bears consequences—40 more years in the wilderness.
As we look toward the resurrection when rock is moved away and Jesus, the Water of Life, emerges alive, hold fast to your faith and do not test God. Remember God’s promise: that from the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus, will come living water for our thirsty souls. Stay hydrated in that knowledge on this year’s journey to the Cross.