Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Making the City Glad
Psa. 46:4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
The city of Jerusalem has no river running though it, while most major cities of the world find themselves connected to water. I live in Kansas City where we have the Missouri River. Just down the road in St. Louis they have the mighty Mississippi. How in the world were the people of Jerusalem to think about a river running through the city of God? Obviously if there were a river, the inhabits would rejoice and be glad.
This was an understanding of what life would be like in the city when God's presence was real. The city would be filled with God’s presence and providence which would rush in covering everything in its path. Everyone would be invited to jump into the river, swimming in the provision of God. The city would be filled with gladness because they were not simply preserved from difficulty but lovingly cared for, by the streams of the Holy Spirit which filled every corner.
On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out again in the city of Jerusalem. Things were different from the Old Testament period for God’s presence had long ago left the Temple and the voice of God had been silent for over 400 years. The promise of the Old Testament was now to be fulfilled in a new and exciting way. The river of the Holy Spirit would be poured out into the living temples within Jerusalem. The people themselves would become the vessels, holding the river which would flow through their lives.
God’s holy people will take the river of the Holy Spirit into the cities and allow the streams to flow to the places which are dry and to those who are thirsty. There will be great rejoicing because the holy habitation of the Most High is now within humanity. All of this has been made possible because of the work of Jesus Christ. The Psalmist was rejoicing in God’s presence in the city but now we rejoice in God’s presence in us.
This rejoicing is not simply for us to enjoy on our own, but to be shared with others who are desperately in need. These days in Kansas City we are experience a lot of hot weather. Almost daily there are heat warnings so that people will take seriously the need to care for their bodies and for one another. Everyone is admonished to drink as much water as possible, to stay well hydrated! Why is it that we recognize the warning signs when it is physically hot outside, but we fail to see our friends and neighbors who are suffering in the heat of life without spiritual drink? When our neighbors need water, we buy it by the caseload and have it delivered to them in their time of need. When people are spiritually in need we are worried that we may offend them or come across as overbearing in our faith.
Somehow we need to find a way to take our stream of living water into the places that are in desperate need of a cool drink. In this way the city will be made glad, people’s lives will be changed and the world transformed. Let’s not hoard the spiritual water for ourselves, but find ways to intentionally share it with those in need.
Lord, your river does make us glad. Please, help me to share your stream today. Amen.