Pass the… Water

In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water. Baptism is like that. It saves you now—not because it removes dirt from your body but because it is the mark of a good conscience toward God. Your salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at God’s right side. Now that he has gone into heaven, he rules over all angels, authorities, and powers (1 Peter 3:20-22, Common English Bible).

“…whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life” (John 4:14, Common English Bible).

This is part 6 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

Would someone please pass the water?

For me at least, it is difficult to imagine beginning a meal without a drink of water. At least as often as not, if water is not the drink of the meal, I will get at least a sip or two before I sit down to eat. I don’t think it is what the foodies on the Food Network would call a palate cleanser but perhaps that is what it serves for me. And, at least some of the time water is the drink of the meal.

Doctors and nutritionists tell us we need water every day. Some say we should have eight glasses. I don’t have many eight ounce glasses but that is what they mean. For me it is easier to keep up with the total ounces rather than total glasses. They also say if you drink caffeine you need more water. And, if you are overweight you also need more water.

Then, once you figure out how much water you need, if you can figure out how much you need, if you become deficient in your water intake, you become dehydrated. If you get dehydrated enough, you could end up with an IV stuck in your arm giving you water the hard way. If you become more dehydrated than that, you could die.

The spiritual life is a lot like that only there are two choices, spiritual hydration and spiritual dehydration. I don’t think there is something in between. And, unlike the water at our dinner table, water we keep picking up again and again, this water, Jesus tells us in John 4, will never leave us thirsty.

Regardless of one’s view on baptism and at what age a person should receive it, it is difficult to imagine living a spiritual life without first having come to the waters of baptism and having a drink of the living water. For we who believe and practice infant baptism that can begin very early in life. For those who practice believer’s baptism it comes at a time later. But regardless of when that may happen, we are brought to drink of the living water.

I love the passage from 1 Peter above. It reminds us that baptism isn’t just to wash off our sin, it does do that, but more than that it marks us as a child of God. That doesn’t mean our baptism is the source of our salvation. It is not. The lesson states clearly that our salvation comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is all we need.

Still, I am thankful for water. Not because I need it to live, and I do. I am thankful for water because when I see it, I am reminded of its life-giving power, in this life and in my spiritual life. Seeing the water reminds me of the waters of baptism. It reminds me of the living water, given to me by the Risen Christ. At least every now and then, I need those reminders.

So once again, Pass the water.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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