1. A tasteful reflection
It was disgusting! The rubbery flavour of a pool liner permeated our household taps. We tasted it. We smelled like it after showering. It overpowered our coffee. We ended up buying bottled water to drink for a week.
You see, we nearly ran out of tank water recently. That long period of time without rain meant that the water tanks were close to empty. Luckily I had a backup plan. Our swimming pool. Last year we were gifted a portable swimming pool which we enjoyed over summer. But as the dry weeks continued, we eventually needed to pump the pool into the empty water tank. It’s one of those classic Dad blunders. I knew the pool water was chlorinated clean and safe to drink, but I didn’t realise how bad it would taste!
Thankfully it rained a week later. Storms that flooded Auckland filled our tanks to the top in just one day. The taste of the water has returned to normal.
Jesus said, “whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within” (Jn 7:38). He was referring to the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit that reaches and refreshes those around us.
Now I’m thinking about our water supply and I’m wondering… Am I a vessel that taints the quality of this life-giving flow of water? I know that I’m filled with the Holy Spirit. I know that God uses ordinary broken vessels like me and you. Amazing! But at the same time, it’s inevitable that my own personality and opinions can get in the way of God’s work. Am I offering fresh water, or my own unpleasant plasticky flavoured pool supply?
Today I’m reminded that in Acts, the Holy Spirit is poured upon God’s people. Even after being filled in Acts 2, they continue to be filled in Acts 4. Like the streams of living water that Jesus described. It’s a river not a pool. God intends and provides a constant flow for us to tap into and draw from, not a one-time experience that goes stale.
May the reservoir of my life be filled to overflowing, washed with God’s fresh presence.
Holy Spirit, we are here. We are open to you. We receive you afresh today.
2. A personal update
This week our family has been in isolation, as gradually 6 out of 7 in our home have covid. My positive result mid-week means I’ll be home until Wednesday. We’re OK overall and have been well cared for. Each individual has reacted differently, with some really bad days. My week has been juggling sickness, recovery, some work, and some time off. But the great news is that I know I’ll be clear for our celebration service coming up!
3. A celebration service on 10th April
It is fantastic to see the registrations coming in for our celebration service on 10th April. I can’t wait to be together, to worship together, and to see each other again on site.
During this season, I’d like to call each of you to prayer for our church. It seems like a special moment, not just for Franklin Baptist Church, but for the church of our nation. I believe it is a time of discernment. As we gather again, may we hear what God is saying in this season. May we be open to whatever the Holy Spirit is leading us toward as a church.
I invite you to join with me in prayer over these next few weeks, so that our church may be a vessel of God’s power flowing through us. Not stagnated by surroundings, or tainted by unpalatable pool-like opinion. Instead like a fresh river of the life-giving presence of God, that our world so desperately needs.
Grace and peace