A desert waste.
no plant of the field was yet in the earth
and no herb of the field had yet sprung up
—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,
and there was no one to till the ground;
but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground—
a life-giving stream
to water the whole face of the ground
life in all its abundance
life in all its glory
a stream to rise from the earth
It was the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens
A stream would rise from the earth,
And water the whole face of the ground
A life-giving stream
7then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground,* and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
And the Lord God planted a garden
Think of a garden.
The most beautiful garden you have ever seen.
And it is as nothing to this garden.
The garden of God’s creation.
The garden of Eden.
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east;
And there he put the man whom he had formed.
9Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches.
1The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah,
13The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush.
14The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria.
And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
A stream of life-giving water
That becomes a river
That branches out
Into all four corners of the world
The paradise of God’s creation … and yet it is spoiled by man’s inhumanity to man.
It ever has been thus.
The garden and that vision of a stream of living water so elusive – out of our reach – spoiled.
How we long to reach that vision once more …
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.When shall I come and behold the face of God?
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
As the deer pants for the water brook
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Jesus knew what it was to thirst
I am thirsty, he cried out on the cross.
In the heat of the sun,
At mid day
And tired out by his journey
Jesus was sitting by a well
He was thirsty.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. 8
9The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)*
10Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’
11The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’
13Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’
When my soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When the soul of each one of us thirsts for God
For the living God
We too can echo the words of that woman long ago.
We can turn to Jesus … and say with confidence,
Lord, 15give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty.’
And the water he will give will become in us a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city;* it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’ 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
how wonderful to sit beside that river … in the quietness, in the stillness, and sense God’s presence.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Isn’t this something worth sharing?
In a dry and arid land.
The vision of a river
Streams of life-giving water
Still waters, green pastures
A hope and a presence …
Is there a stream of living water that can pour out from us into the world around us … a world of such need?
There was a moment when Jesus cried out.
It wasn’t his ordinary voice.
There was an urgency about it.
He knew, he knew how thirsty people were
For something more
For that life-giving water.
And so it was he cried out,
‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
38and 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.”
What a remarkable cry it was … living water to flow from us into the world around …
This was no ordinary water,
It was the water of the spirit,
The life-giving spirit, that breathes life into the world,
It is the water that sustains,
That gives new life …
Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water …
’ 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive
That spirit of God, unseen yet so very real that gives strength where there is weakness, life where there is no life.
What a difference that would make.
What a task for us to share.
For those streams of living water to flow from us.
What a difference that will make.
We have a vision, a vision to share.
Then the angel* showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life* with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants* will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.
A Meditation by Judi Marsh
Restoring the Sacred Centre
Lord, help me notice
all the still waters
that you lead me beside.
of the sacredness
that glows in silence
on Holy ground.
Hy-Spirit lead us in singing The Lord’s my shepherd
Janet Partington shares John Pritchard's meditation - the Stream