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The shape of water

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

From Ezekiel 47
The angel brought me to the temple entrance, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold. He measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade; the water was up to my waist. Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade. The water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming.

There is so little to be said, so a slight, mute girl might say it all with her hands. It’s the angel that has the good news. This water brings life, this water brings fruit, this water brings healing to the wounded and the broken-hearted. All “shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.” Is this sweet miracle water for us too?

But what mere water could ever bring forth life? Life is no miracle but just a sperm and egg shoved together without ceremony.

There is no excuse for evil, which seems to live without substance alongside the good. Evil does not stop showing itself. On the sabbath Jesus meets a man crippled for years and offers him healing, but the man does not recognize his good fortune. His predicament is much more clear to him than Jesus’ fresh possibility.

Jesus calls him anyway: “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” But no cripple is allowed to rise, take up his mat and walk on the sabbath! And Jesus knows it.

But Jesus brings the essence of Ezekiel’s river right into Jerusalem. “Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live. Fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their fruit shall serve for food and their leaves for medicine.” Nothing’s gonna stop it. There is a great display of leaping and laughing and praising God.

And Jesus brings so much more. Come and see, taste and see, the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Stand for awhile beside the river. Pluck fruit from these trees. Remember all the ways that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Hold the fruit in your hands, and eat it. Find out what sweetness and healing God has for you today.

You share this bounty with me, Lord, you stretch out your hands and offer it for me to eat. So I take bite after bite, all your juices flow inside me, all your love blossoms in my heart, and even your breath fills my lungs. It is so good to be alive with you.

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