This image of the River of Life spreading out into the world provides us something to reflect upon. The further the river gets from the presence of God, the wider and deeper it gets. Eventually, it takes the Dead Sea and makes it living water, too. In the case of the Dead Sea, there is an echo of baptism and resurrection…from death to life, and not just any life, a Godly life.
The “four” walls of the church building should be so filled with the Holy Spirit that it should be overflowing into the community in which it sits. These walls are not meant to be containers, keeping the Holy Spirit captive or “preserved”, but enabling each of us to take this concentration of the Holy Spirit out into the world with us.
If there is to be freedom where the Holy Spirit is moving, why does it often feel as if we are trapped in church? If there is freedom, why do we seem unable (or unwilling) to be able to share it?
The church (which has been said time and time again) is not the building (though we often act like it). The church is the people. The freedom of the Holy Spirit enables us to freely share the Gospel and the love of Christ. However, we continually put on the chains that weigh us down, whether fear or pride or something else. We certainly don’t act free.
Therein lies the problem. We have been commissioned to take the Gospel to our families, our neighbors, our communities, our cities, our counties, our state, our nation, our continent, our world. It is not a commission we can decline, for God has already commissioned us. We are plan A–Z.
1) Do you feel free in the Holy Spirit? What does that mean to you?
2) What are your thoughts about the River of Life being deeper and wider away from the temple of God? What does that mean in regards to how you live?
3) You have been commissioned. What is your response to that? How do you fulfill your commission? How do you see others fulfilling their commission?