Water Carriers
     A good friend remarked recently that there is a great difference between going and being sent.  Many in the church are willing to go, and in fact do go, but too often I think, without having been sent.  Yes, I know that Jesus exhorted His followers to "go and make disciples," but if we understand the full context of His Word, His listeners understood they were not to go until they knew clearly where and to who He was sending them.  More, that they would be in full, personal possession of the great treasure that they were entrusted with, the message of the cross and the resurrection power found there.  We are eager to go out, but so often we go out unprepared, unempowered, and unable to truly be an effective witness of the resurrection life found and offered in Christ.  The disciples were told, "as you go, preach," but they were not to go until they had experienced Pentecost, the experience of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and that when they did go, that experience of the fullness of His life would flow through them as they went about their daily lives in every situation possible.  At their work, in their community, wherever they were.  Author and pastor Wade Taylor said that it had been his habit that after receiving some new understanding of His Word, he would want to rush out and preach it, until the Lord admonished him to wait, until the experience of that Word had been worked into his daily life. Only then could he go, because he was now truly sent.  Too often we go out telling people about a God and a Savior we have not truly or fully experienced ourselves.
     I think we see a good illustration of this in John 2, with the miracle of the changing of the water into wine at the wedding in Cana.  For those un- familiar with the story, the wine has run out, a great humiliation for the bridegroom and his family.  Mary brings the problem to Jesus, knowing He had the power to do something about it.  He does not promise that He will, and Mary, realizing she could not command Him, but could trust Him, told the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."  Jesus than instructed them to take six, thirty gallon waterpots and fill them with water.  They did so, and He then instructed them to "take them to the master of ceremonies."  They did so, and when the man tasted it, found it to be the sweetest of wines.  He didn't know where this wine had come from, but the servants did.  I think we have here a clear teaching on how the Lord wishes to work through us.  That good friend mentioned above also once said that "We're to be water carriers as the Lord makes the wine."  The key is hearing what He says, "Do whatever He tells you," and then following as He leads.  We don't make the wine, He does, and we don't choose the when and where of it all.  Our role, like the servants, is to know what He saying, and follow where He is leading.  He makes our lives new, sweet wine, and pours it our through us unto and into others.  The results are miraculous as He pours that wine out, transforming from death to life, despair to hope, brokenness to wholeness, and the carnal to the holy.  
     He has chosen to do this through water carriers like you and I.  Water carriers that as we go, He distributes the wine that He has made from our transformed lives, into those lives we encounter upon the way.  Lives that have seen all hope, joy, and strength run out.  We go because we've been sent, doing what He has said, because we have heard Him.  Water carriers for Christ as He continues His miraculous work of changing water into wine, one life at a time.

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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