Come and Drink
To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring. I will be their God, and they will be my sons and daughters. (Revelation 21:6 CEB)
The angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.” The one who bears witness to these things says, “Yes, I’m coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:1, 17, 20 CEB)
Sometimes we make this church thing really complicated. In its simplest form, it is a cycle of call and response. God calls us to “come and drink” from life-giving water. We respond by either choosing to come to Jesus or choosing to go our own way. If we choose to come to him. We turn to him and respond, “come, Lord Jesus.”
Come and drink
Come, Lord Jesus
Come and drink
Come, Lord Jesus
This is the pattern of the Christ follower. This is the pattern of the people of God gathered as the church.
Everything else flows out of this pattern of call and response. This is the way we grow to become more like Christ. This is the way we receive grace and help in our times of need. This is the way the church participates in God’s mission for this world.
Come. . . What a simple invitation.
If you are thirsty, “Come.”
If you are hungry, “Come.”
If you are weary, “Come.”
If you are lonely, “Come.”
If you have lost your way, “Come.”
If you need a place to rest and recuperate, “Come.”
If you want real life, “Come.”
If you are tired of trying to be satisfied by things that don’t satisfy, “Come.”
After all our struggling, all our striving, all our chaos, all our pretenses, all our deception, and all our failure . . . we come to the place where we can say, “I need Jesus.”
That’s a great place to be, even if you had to hit bottom to get there. It is there we hear Jesus simply say, “Come.”
God came in the flesh and suffered and died for us. He rose from the grave to enable us to receive grace to become the people of God and to give us hope for a new creation where the new heaven and the new earth are one. That’s the extravagance of God toward us.
Maybe you’ve been denied love or have only experienced love with conditions. I have good news, that’s not the way God loves. Maybe you’ve always felt that nothing you ever did was right or the love and affection you needed was never offered. God invites us to himself and responds with love and grace. If you have come to him, then you understand what this extravagant grace is all about.
But it is not enough to just come to Jesus.
Imagine asking someone to meet you for coffee. You notice them pull up to the curb, but they stay in the car. They come, but they don’t drink. The point of your request to come is not that they be near you. The point is that they share coffee and relationship with you.
The last passage of the entire Christian scriptures reminds us that we are invited to come AND drink.
By drinking from the “water of life”. . .
we trade our guilt for forgiveness,
we trade our sorrow for joy, and
we trade death and decay for everlasting and abundant life.
This trade doesn’t happen by just coming. We must drink from the fountain of new life.
If we come to Jesus, but do not drink it is like staying in the car. We never experience the life-changing, life-giving relationship.
You know the thing about our physical bodies being thirsty? Even if we take a drink to satisfy our thirst, we are going to get thirsty again. One drink doesn’t hold you for very long.
A hike near Mt. St. Helens this past weekend reminded me of this. It was a bright sunny day (yes, we do have them in Washington state!), I was alone and, I made the mistake of leaving most of my water in the truck and only taking about 20 oz. with me. After walking on the ash and rock “trail” for a while I ran out of water from trying to quench my thirst.
It’s the same with our spiritual lives. Our spiritual lives need constant nourishment. We need to come again and again to drink from the life-giving water of Christ.
We do this with personal prayer and meditation on God’s Word. We do this by gathering with God’s people for worship. We do this by sharing the life of Christ through the regular sacrament of the bread and the cup. We do this by serving in the name of Christ.
Talking about living water reminds me of an encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan women at a well. She came for H2O from the well and left with living water from Jesus. Jesus offered her living water so she wouldn’t thirst again. He wasn’t saying she would never drink again. He was saying this living water never runs out and always satisfies. We can drink and drink and drink and it will never run dry.
I invite you to come and drink!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. (Revelation 22:21 CEB)