Reading John 7 reminds me of the children’s fairytale character the “pushmepullyou”. It has one body but two heads both pointing in the opposite direction. All the voices pushing and pulling. Go and do your thing! Wait your time! Is he or isn’t he? Should I or shouldn’t I? It’s fake, it’s real! Criminal, no true blue. Do it now, pay later. Confusion and chaos.
The voices all around us in our culture in our world today are just as confusing and chaotic as they were in Jesus’ day and time. He was forging his way through the muck of the fleshly existence to bring Light to a dark and confused world. In the midst of this crowd of pulling and pushing Jesus says ,“If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within” (Jn. 7:37b,38).
Some in the crowd were intently listening and were able to discern that this was truly the Messiah’s voice. Some of them knew by the incredible authority and clarity of Jesus’ promise to them that he truly was the Voice they were waiting and longing for. Even the temple guards refused to arrest Jesus though they would be risking punishment by the Jewish leaders. His voice spoke the living Word to them and they were hearing. Even in the pulling, pushing, shouting crowd of contradictory messages all around them.
Are we able to stop and listen for that Voice of truth and hope during this Lenten season and hear the promise of living water that will flow out from within? The promise of the Spirit given as a gift to us by the Saviour who came into the darkness of this world and put on flesh to live among us so that we could see who God really is. Do we see him? Do we hear him? Or are we so part of the “pushmepullyou” of our culture that we remain struggling in the murky darkness of our world?
Dear Jesus, please allow me to hear you and see you in the midst of my own confusion and struggle for integrity and clarity. Help me be still and quiet before you during this Lenten season so that I may join you in the 40 day journey toward the cross and hear Your voice and live by the living water Spirit from within. Amen
Malmo Mission Covenant Church