Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 32
Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent
“Preconceptions and the River of Life.”
Yesterday we read about Jesus going to the Feast of the Tabernacles. In today’s John reading, he proclaims these words on the last day of the feast: “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water,” (Jn 7:37-38). So, what’s the connection between the Feast and Jesus’ words? On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, there was a temple ritual where the priests would go around the altar seven times and pour out water. So, Jesus’ proclamation is that he’s the altar from which living waters flow out (remember our Ezekiel reading from a few days ago?). These are bold words indeed! So, it’s also unsurprising why his words cause so much division. Some believe he is the Christ. And others want to kill him. Their reason? “No prophet is to rise from Galilee!” (Jn 7:52). Barring this absurd claim (many prophets came from Galilee, e.g.: Jonah, Elijah and Elisha, to name a few), their preconceived notions about Jesus blinded them from coming to Jesus to have eternal life! What kind of preconceived notions do we sometimes have that blinds us from receiving Christ into our hearts? Maybe he didn’t answer our prayers like we wanted? Maybe following him sounds too hard? Whatever it is, preconceived notions prevent us from drinking from rivers of living water. But during this Lent, perhaps it’s time to look up and see Jesus hanging on the Cross for our sakes, and truly believe that his death gives us all the life we need.
Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.