"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

“Of Water, Born” – Tuesday, March 16, 2021

St. Helen’s Daily Lenten Devotional

We can, for the most part, identify the symbols of the Holy Spirit; certainly the descending dove, as at Jesus’ baptism, the wind “blows where it chooses” from John 3:8 and Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, and the rush of a mighty wind and the amazing holographs of tongues of fire at that first Pentecost.  But consider the image of the Holy Spirit as the river that runs through our lives. Not the ‘still waters’ of Psalm 23 but rather the compelling  image in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 22:6 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…”

Are we aware pf the power of the current and the infinite variety in its expression? Are we mindful of the risks inherent, the possibility of being carried where we do not wish to go and yet discovering that when we give up control, and let the Spirit run… it’s a white water rafting trip that takes one’s breath away, or perhaps the gentlest of canoe paddles, beyond human imagination but with divine purpose?

The Spirit, whether we are conscious of her influence or not, winds through every moment of our journey, calm at times, tumbling rapids or a cascading waterfall at others. The constant flow is present, through the growing up years, in the laughter and joys, grief and tears…The Spirit is witness to the  stupid decisions and the consequences, the triumphs and successes, through weakness and monumental failures…and ever present through broken relationships, personal loss and pandemics.

This is the river of the Spirit that leads us into new life: guiding, healing, comforting, inspiring and challenging. This is the Spirt flowing, bringing into being loving community, inclusivity, compassion, caring, ministry…and yes, bringing peace…the peace that passes all understanding…the peace of Christ.

“Flow river flow…” Shine, Jesus Shine, Graham Kendrick, 1987