06 October 2009

Great Doddington - A deep well

It was good to meet again, I hadn't seen these friends since before the trip to the USA.

We began by chatting over a coffee. One of the subjects that came up was how people are often dissatisfied with church life. A well of waterSometimes they stay, sometimes they move to another church. We thought that it's not a matter of the size of the group, but more to do with the way people treat one another. Large groups (more than about 15 or 20) are inevitably less intimate and personal so problems may go unnoticed. At the end of the evening this discussion continued, Glenn wondered how the structures and traditions of big church originated. I must lend him a copy of 'Pagan Christianity' as it covers this in detail.

We realise that we all have a part to play when we meet together. As Paul wrote, everyone can contribute something, we are even called to admonish one another when necessary - though with grace, wisdom, and love (Colossians 3:16).

Jody mentioned the Darwin film, 'Creation', which she had seen. Darwin was portrayed as wrestling with the disconnect between his twenty years of careful observation and the religion he had been taught. She read Hebrews 2:11. We have been made holy and are all of the one family, Jesus himself is our brother.

Chris mentioned how yesterday's meeting at work had been a reminder that we grow and encourage one another and this informs and empowers us in taking Jesus out to everyone we meet in our daily lives.

Jody read Isaiah 9:1-7 and then Rachael shared a picture of a deep well with a rope and bucket. She understood that the well in the picture is not external but represents a well within our hearts. We need to allow what's already in us to come out. This is the living water from Christ, who is the source.

Sue mentioned that it would be truly hard work winding up the heavy bucket and she saw that Jesus comes and pulls it up and splashes the water all over us! I added that we need to make a start and then he takes the strain, doing what we can't. Reaching out a hand and starting to wind is just having faith that he will do the work. We begin the task already knowing that he'll do it - and he does! He also gave Chris the words, 'I will never leave you'. Wherever you go, whatever you do in life, he is always going to be there for us. In him we live and move and exist.

Rachael had a second picture, this time a tree which had blood instead of sap. She could see the blood coursing through all the veins in the leaves.

Glenn explained that there is a link between the well and the tree. Water is for refreshing, it's fun, but it's also cleansing, it prepares us for service, and it irrigates. Water from the well can be poured from the bucket into the furrows in a field, and he saw plants spring up and burst into flower. They were like potatoes, the tops would die back but there was a harvest hidden underground. We have to wait for the hidden fruit to become ready. The tree has Jesus' blood in it, there is a time of increase, of harvest.

Jody challenged us with the idea that our culture has no understanding of blood, but she believes we are coming to a place where we will need to understand it clearly. Some time ago her son had needed surgery and she imagined seeing this being done (though of course in reality she has only seen the scars of the healed incision). She has no real idea of the intricate things the surgeons must have undertaken. And somehow she knows that we need to trust the Lord for what we don't see and don't understand, not just for the things we do see.

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