Tuesday, February 26, 2008

For the sake of completeness

because I've blogged all other alt worship events, here are the Living Water stations I used

Thus says the Lord: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord. They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-10
These adverts represent some things that people aspire to, possessions and belongings that they believe will make all the difference to them….
Too often, we behave as if material security is the most important thing of all, and depend on what we own rather than depending on our unique identity as God’s beloved children. Choose an advert that might appeal to you…think about what it could represent in your life and then, if you wish, set it aside and read this prayer written by a great adventurer, Sir Francis Drake:( if you’d like, there are copies for you to take away with you).


O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In the dry and thirsty land (Ps.63:1)

Water is essential to life…Nothing can survive without it.
In the same way, our souls, our true selves, cannot survive without God. Without God, we will never achieve our full potential as human beings…we’ll be like seeds that have never germinated. Take a mustard seed home with you…dampen the cotton wool, and ensure that it remains damp. As you wait for signs of growth, pray that you will always continue your search for God, who is the source of all life and growth.


Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:v2,7,10)
As we continue to travel through the weeks of Lent, we can use the time before Easter to consider the things we long to change, about ourselves, our relationships, our own small corner of the world. At Easter, specially at the Vigil Service, we can recommit to our Baptismal vows, and rejoice once again that God’s forgiveness is as boundless as the oceans…it sweeps away all our failures, all our regrets, all our sins Pick up a stone…Hold it as you talk to God about those things you are sorry for. When you are ready, drop it into the font and know that God has forgiven you, completely and wholly.
"When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever….Then he puts up a sign “NO FISHING ALLOWED”
(Corrie ten Boom)

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. They were waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. (John 5 1-9)

The man whom Jesus healed had waited beside the pool for many years, because he had no friends to help him to the place of healing. We can all act as friends, supporting people in need by our prayers, offering their pain, their troubles to God for his healing. If you wish, write a name or a situation on a flower, fold the petals around it and float it in the water fountain as you ask God for whatever healing seems good to him.

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26

Sometimes we choose to shut ourselves off from God, to harden our hearts, to block our ears, to freeze God out….but we are made to be in loving relationship with Him, and the warmth of his love can melt even the most frozen heart. Sit and watch the ice candle for a few moments If you like, use this meditation to help you focus…

My heart is hard, frozen solid, ice cold and hidden beneath a protective layer.
My heart is hard, solidified by constant bruising and wounding, scarred and damaged.
My heart is hard, obsessed with my own needs and desires, focussed and single minded.
My heart is hard, wary of exposing its inner weakness, my fears and insecurities.
My heart is hard, turned to stone by bitterness and argument, by anger.
My heart is hard, hardened by my own determination to live by my own strength.
My heart is hard, crusted over by years of ignoring the cry of God.

Yet you melt hearts.
You melt the hearts of the hurting
You melt the hearts of the lonely
You melt the hearts of the empty
You melt the hearts of the grieving
You melt the hearts of the weak
You melt the hearts of the insecure
You melt the hearts of the helpless
You melt the hearts of the scared
You melt the hearts of the failure

You melt the hearts of those who have had enough of human answers,
of answers that do not fit the questions,
of answers that demand a different question,
of answers that do not ring true,
of answers that belong to someone else and somewhere else,
of answers that have been tried and found wanting,
of answers that have no real meaning.

Melt my heart,
Melt our hearts,
Melt our hearts so we will be open to hear your cry, to heed your call,

Melt the hearts of those we love,
Melt the hearts of those we struggle with,
Melt the hearts of those we meet on the way,
Melt the hearts of those you lead us to,
So all may be both loved and loving.
(adapted from words by Mark Berry)

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The 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.) Jesus 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.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but 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.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
John 4 7-15
The Samaritan woman came to Jesus in the heat of the day…in the middle of a busy life.
In the middle of your busy life, pause to be with Jesus. Make yourself comfortable Take time to watch the words and images on the screen. When you’re ready, pour yourself some water and drink it, thanking God for the water of life he offers to us.


Disillusioned said...

I struggled to read all of this - because it is so powerful, what you have written. I will come back to it. Thank you.

Sally said...

Kathyrn may I use some of these please, I was challenged and moved as I read them. Thank you for this post.

Ruth said...

What struck me was the Ice part -- which is a facet of Living Water that I never considered before. Maybe because they don't have much ice in the Holy Land (although maybe they do, somewhere, sometime, interesting thought!) and yet we all know this truth of melting, which is another way to describe the action of the Holy Spirit. I think natural metaphors are so powerful. Thanks for this.