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Prepare to listen. As you wait in silence, hear God’s words: Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
Prayerfully Read John 7:37-44
37On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit , because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’ 41Others said, ‘This is the Messiah.’ But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he?
42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’ 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
The festival Jesus attended in this passage was the Festival of Booths (7:2). It was a yearly festival, lasting for 7 days, celebrated to re-member Israel’s wilderness wanderings when they lived in booths (tents). It was also a reminder of God’s provision of water from the rock. Doubtless Jesus had the memory of water in view when, on the last day of the festival, he dramatically cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.” Come and believe in me. The same invitation that we read in yesterday’s devotion. Come, believe. It’s all Jesus asks. Nothing heroic required; no first sorting out a messy life; no feat of ascetic discipline. If you’re thirsty, come. If you believe, drink.
And the result? “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” Deep within our being, in our heart, cleansing life happens, transforming us from the inside out, changing us forever. This is same the living water Jesus promised to the woman at the well (Jn 4:14). He never explained it to her, but here we have an explanation, one the disciples understood much later. Jesus was speaking of the Spirit that was to be given to believers in him after he’d been glorified (a reference to his death and resurrection). The Spirit has come, the Spirit who keeps quenching our thirst even today. But first we must admit our thirst and come.
What are you thirsty for? What caught your attention in this story and how does it show you the way today?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, your claims are large and lasting. Fill me today with your Spirit so that rivers of living water flow out of me and touch those I meet today. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Admit your thirst and come.
 This can be translated. "for as yet the Spirit had not been given."
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.