Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Dear Linwood Friends,
How good it was to be back together in worship again at Linwood Park! Last Sunday was a beautiful morning in many ways. I know that many of you have not yet returned to Linwood. Then there are others whose vacation time at Linwood is not on the calendar until later this summer. Just know that we are eager to greet you and have you join with us in worship, whenever the Lord brings you back to the shores of Lake Erie.
As I mentioned to you a few weeks ago, we have a theme for the summer, “Come to the Waters.”
This theme is a natural for Linwood for two reasons: 1) Linwood is blessed to be situated on Lake Erie, an incredible resource of fresh water; 2) “Water” is an analogy often used in both the Old and New Testaments in describing the gift of God’s presence with His people and His gift of salvation through Jesus.
Water is but one of a number of analogies that are used in the Scriptures to speak of God’s redeeming work. One of the things that strikes me about water – and many of the other analogies – is how “common” they are. Water is one of the most basic necessities of life. The space probes to Mars test for water. Why? If there is no water, then there is no life as we know it.
All analogies break down at some point – nothing is completely adequate to describe God’s gift of love in Jesus. However, here is one place where I believe the analogy is right on target. A relationship with God through Christ is the most basic necessity of life. We are created with all kinds of capabilities, interests and desires, and with the possibility of engaging in and appreciating all kinds of things. Yet, above all we are created with a longing for God, a craving to be in a relationship with Him. If we try to go through life without knowing God and trusting Him, we are not really living! This is one of the places where the Scriptures are not very subtle. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life!” (I John 5:12). You can’t get much more basic than that!
And yet, as I said on Sunday, while the Scriptures invite us to drink deeply from “gushing” springs, many of us try to just take a “sip.” How silly! And, how sad! God is not a stingy God! He fashioned us “in His image”! He placed us in an incredible world! He gives us free choice! And then, when we exercise that free will in ways that mess up and literally squeeze the life out of us and out of those around us, He offers us “life in all its fullness” through the gift of His Son! Who in the world would say to God, “I’ll just have a small slice of life,” instead of “life in all its fullness”?
Water – it is basic and (if you are near The Great Lakes) it is abundant. The “water of life” that Christ offers is also basic and (if you open your life to the Lord) it is abundant!
Drink deeply, my friend, of that Living Water. And, to God be the glory!
Hu Auburn, Linwood Park Pastor
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