Pastor’s Note: Let the River Flow
A river starts somewhere high up in the mountains and finds its way to the ocean. It will not stop at anything. It will go down the mountain, into the valley; it will meander around any obstacle it cannot make its way through it, until it finds its way to the ocean; for it is in the nature of water to do that. Along its way to reach the ocean, it often carves out beautiful canyons such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Over time, rivers have produced some stunning sites. Humanity has attempted to block and obstruct the river’s path at times and those obstructions eventually get pushed out of the way in great storms.
Today in the scriptures, we hear how Jesus says he comes as the living water. He comes as that wellspring that springs within us to eternal life. In other words, if we allow it, Christ will flow through our lives and through our hearts making our hearts pure and clean. If we allow Him, He will cleanse us constantly on an ongoing basis.
We often, like this Samaritan woman in today’s gospel, have something that has blocked the way of Christ in our hearts. Often that is our sinfulness. If we allow the Lord, He will also wash away all those sins and keep the river flowing at full strength. That is what we are called to do.
That is what the Samaritan woman did today, she allowed the Lord to forgive her by His mere presence and His conversations with her at the well. He was the living demonstration of that forgiveness and that she allowed it to happen.
Yet there are other things that block the Lord. It is not just our sinfulness, namely, the things we do, but we also construct dams, by which we refuse to do things for others. We refuse to allow the Lord to do certain things in our lives. For example, one dam that we so commonly build in our lives is the dam of unforgiveness. We build it with great ingenuity. We will not forgive the person for some number of years until they do one thing that is rather impractical or even impossible. We literally build a dam, holding back the Lord’s grace in our life and in their life. And, we find it so hard to let the river flow.
Today as we listen to these words, allow the living waters to flow freely in our hearts, to make clean and to make pure our hearts once again, to remove the obstruction of sin from the dams of selfishness and unforgiveness.