John 7.37-52

                On 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, and 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.'” Now 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.

                When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

                Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law–they are accursed.”

                Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”

 

From Rev. Jacque Parlato, Assoc. Pastor

Madison Avenue Christian Church, Huntington

 

“If we are to have peace on earth,

our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional.

Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe,

our class and our nation…”

(The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Christmas Sermon, 1967)

                Today’s Gospel reading reminds us of centuries of rivalry, debate and separation over our beliefs. It is also a reminder of ways in which even the slightest differences can result in division rather than unity as believers in Christ.

If we are people of faith, yet define sin as that which separates us from God, let us strive to make peace with our differences and rejoice in our faith that binds us to one another and to God through Christ.

As we journey toward the cross during this Lenten season, may we be intentional in our relationships with all of God’s children, welcoming those who are different, yet thirsty for live-giving water. Let our loyalties rest in the hope of the living water that leads us into faith and truth.

 

Living God, during this Lenten season,

fill us with a desire to be refreshed and renewed

by your life-giving water through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

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