Have you ever noticed that the Bible has this thing about water?
The Spirit brooded over the waters at the creation.
The flood of Noah.
The Nile turned to blood.
The parting of the Red Sea.
The crossing of the Jordan River.
Jonah being cast into the sea.
Jesus baptism in the Jordan.
Jesus’ command to give water to the thirsty.
The water turned into wine.
The calming of the storm.
Walking on Water.
The water and blood pouring from Jesus pierced side.
Paul being shipwrecked.
The waters of life in the book of Revelation.
It just goes on and on.
The elemental force that brings life, mercy, cleansing, and judgment.
“Where’s the water, Moses?”
The whole congregation of the Israelites had taken the leap of faith, they left Pharaoh, Egypt, and slavery behind. Now they were in the middle of nowhere, and they were thirsty and there was no water. They were in trouble.
“Is the Lord among us or not?”
Faith starts to become hard, dangerous even.
Where is God now that God is really needed? We followed faithfully. Will God provide faithfully?
“Is the Lord among us or not?”
Being in deep need drives us to God. Being in deep need also forces a certain honesty, clarity, and candor with God, it causes us to say, “God are you there? Do you care?”
Is God there? Does God care?
Those are the hard questions that we ask in the dark times.
Where is the water?
In the story of the people of Israel, the answer is that Moses struck the rock and the water flowed, providing water in the dry place, in the dark time. Is the Lord among us or not? And the answer is water.
Christians have always ascribed symbolic power to this rock being cleft by Moses and providing the answer to our fears and questions about God being present and God caring.
For Christians Jesus has been understood as the Rock cleft for us, answering the questions, providing life in the dry and dark times, the Rock of Ages hymn, one of the great Anglican hymns of the 18th century echoes this understanding of Jesus death and resurrection being the answer to the question of, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Is God there? Does God care?
Jesus is the answer we are given. Jesus is the yes. Jesus is the water in the dry and dark times.
It all comes back to water.
It all comes back to Baptism and finding water there.