In our current culture, even church culture, it is still often hard for us to accept that we can have something…. in all its fullness and beauty and satisfying abundance…that we haven’t had to contend for or haven’t had to earn or haven’t had to travel a long way to experience.
Something that we only have to receive.
And keep receiving.
Yet Jesus promised to place within us a stream of life that will never run out, never fail, never stop thrilling us with all its cleansing, refreshing, powerful, captivating completeness. A spring that by nature has it’s own momentum, it’s own life force designed to bubble up and bring vitality to all in it’s reach. If we start from any other place we start to weaken grace, we start to grieve the giver of grace.
In John 4, Jesus talks of this spring to a Samaritan woman. Maybe unsurprisingly the woman starts talking about places of worship, because in that culture the place of worship — often distant, and hard to get into, and only in reach through pilgrimage — was the place of thirsted-for abundance, even if only for the occasional day.
But as so often he did, Jesus turns this on it’s head and transforms her well-meant understanding of worship — in the same way he has transformed my own well-meant understanding of worship — in one short phrase: No bucket needed. The life He offers doesn’t need a receptacle, a building or even a song to contain it. Just a person willing to receive it.
The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst — not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
No Bucket required.
You can find this article, written by worship leader Neil Bennetts, here.