|With Jesus as Lord, we share His Love|
Before. The just before. Moments filled with wonder and anticipation. On Christmas morning, the tree glistening and surrounded with gifts the moment before children wake and race into the room. Or the bride adorned in beauty, voile and white satin, waiting in the vestibule. The moment just before the sanctuary doors swing open to reveal her to her groom. Or that scene in the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where you know, though you haven't yet seen him, that Aslan, the Lion, the Lion, Lion of Judah, a type Christ, is inside the tent. And you still don't see him, but you know! And the red curtain stirs. Stirs. Stirs the way Messianic prophecy must have stirred the hearts of devout Jews.
On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity (Zechariah 13:1, NLT).
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Now. The right now. Moments so filled with being and doing that knowing their significance isn't quite possible, even when we sense that something big is happening. This is the moment of children opening their gifts. It's a grandson literally jumping for joy when he opens the Jenga blocks his little sister gave him, then tackling her (ever so gently) with gratitude. The "What just happened?" look on her face. It's her gasp of wonder as she tears the paper from her own gift, a doll whom she names "Anna" and cares for as tenderly as her mother cares for her baby brother. The "right now" is also the bride revealed, walking down the aisle toward her groom, her future, her destiny which she cannot know, but embraces just the same. This is also the moment of disciples walking a dusty road between Judea and Galilee with Jesus, making their way through Samaria. The "right now" of being in the body, of being hungry, and urging their weary Rabbi to rest. The right now of the disciples walking to the village to buy food, leaving Jesus to sit by Jacob's well. Jacob's well. Desert oasis where this Rabbi does the counter-culture unthinkable. He strikes up a conversation with a woman, a Samaritan woman of poor reputation, no less. Her reputation so poor, in fact, that she visits the well alone, at a time when the other women of the village aren't there. Her choice, or theirs? We don't know. But none of this matters to Jesus. He talks to her. Tells her, of all people, a shunned woman from an obscure village, that He is the One. "I AM the Messiah," he says to her, a truth He doesn't state clearly to others, not to the priests in Jerusalem, not even to His disciples. The now. The right now all around.
Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water. . . . [T]hose who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4: 10 & 14, NLT).
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Then. The will be. The future we can't see, but is and will be. The boy who, by learning to stack and unstack teetering Jenga blocks, may someday want to study architecture or engineering and build buildings or bridges. The girl who, by practicing tender care of her baby doll, may someday become a wonderful mommy, or nurse, pediatrician, or some combination of these. The bride who will live out her destiny with her groom. Will there be children? How many? A house? A career? All of these? Only God knows. The same God who has given us glimpses into the future through a vision recorded by the aged and exiled Apostle John.
And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life" (Revelation 21: 5b-6, NLT).
Springs of the water of life, the fountain prophesied, fulfilled, and yet to come. The "just before," the "right now," and the "will be" all rolled into One.
"To all who are thirsty," the passage reads, indicating that there are those who are thirsty, and those who aren't. Tell me, which are you?