Blog 1115 – 09.15.2018
What Is The Water Of Life That Truly Satisfied?
Shortly after I graduated from high school I joined the U.S. Army hoping to do my three year hitch and use the government benefits to attended a University and pursue a degree in Elementary Education. Much as for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer I have wanted to teach, especially young children. I even took a writing children’s book course by correspondence once and in my over twenty adult years in a narrow fundamentalist Christian Church, I taught Sunday School, pastored a Children’s Church Program, and even started a Bus Ministry and Puppet Ministry While being an Associated Pastor at a small church in Red Bank, Tennessee. During all those twenty years of ministry I read many books to help me have a better idea how and what to teach children. I even attended a Bible College in Houston, Texas for three years where I worked in the children’s ministries of the two largest congregation of my group there. But by far most of my reading was the Bible itself. I read it in its entirety at least once a year and though most often in the King James Version, I also read it several times in The New American Standard Version, the American Bible Society’s Good News For Modern Man Version, The Revised Standard Version, and the excellent though not an exact translation, paraphrased Version by Kenneth Taylor called The Living Bible. I said all that to let you know that I consider myself a Bible Scholar. The Bible says, “Your word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
After leaving Christianity and the Church in my mid-forties, I spent almost the next twenty years trying to be as devout an Atheist as I had been a Christian. And I could go toe to toe with anyone who wanted to argue the Bible and still can for I know that book and many if not all the interpretations that men have made of even the most obscure texts. By and large most people who consider themselves Christians do not know The Book, which in the most accepted versions is actually sixty-six books yet the Roman Catholics add some Apocryphal books in their version. (Apocryphal meaning not accepted as Canon by the early church leaders.) There were hundreds of other books some equally inspiring that were written at the same time as the books of the Bible but not picked for their list of “Oldie Goldie’s” or canonized books.
I have joked with friends over the years that Jesus loved harlots or whores and so do I. Doubt the validity of the first part of that do you? Why, one of Jesus’ Gospel genealogies has Rahab, the harlot who helped the spies conquer the city of Jericho, as one of Jesus’ great, great, great…grandmothers. Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law who masqueraded as a harlot to get him to lay with her, get her pregnant, and raise a child for his first two sons who had widowed her childless. And then there was Ruth the Moabitess who many scholars think was probably a temple prostitute before marrying Naomi’s son. All three were Jesus’ great, great, great…grandmothers. If that isn’t enough evidence hear Jesus’s own words to the Pharisees, one of the strictest rule keeping church folks of his day, “The harlots and the tax collectors will enter the kingdom of heaven ahead of you.”
I have given this some thought. People who pursue pleasure and their own self interest have a leg up on church folks when it comes to finding the kingdom of heaven. Jesus knew that and he further illustrated the point by a meeting and a conversation that he had with a woman at a well. The boys were off arranging accommodations in town for themselves and their Teacher and Jesus tired from the walk from the last town stopped at the water well outside of town to rest. A lone woman came to draw water from the well. She had a clay water jar on her head and before she dipped it in the water Jesus asked her for a drink. It was not protocol for a man to speak to a woman but Jesus was not bound by such silly rules nor should we be. She marveled a bit and seeing her surprise Jesus commented that if she knew who had ask her for water she might ask him for the living water that truly satisfied. She misunderstood his meaning and remarked that he had nothing to draw with so how could he give her water and why had he himself had asked her for a drink. He tried to clear up the issue but actually most of that conversation went right over her head till he proved to her that he knew her. He said to her that she had been with many men and that even the man she was currently with was not her husband either but he did not judge her but offered her the living water that satisfies. Having tasted it she told everyone come see a man who told me everything I ever did. He did not actually but she knew he could for he knew all about her and loved her.
What is the living water that satisfies? Some think it is Jesus or one of the many finely crafted sales pitches that the then and future followers of the meek and lowly Jesus came up with to build earthly organizations called churches to further divide his friends and followers. I believe the living water that satisfies is the sure and certain knowledge of Who and Whose we are be that a rich man, poor, man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, or harlot. We are everyone of us, first and foremost, before we are even men or women Children Of the Universe, and as such co-heirs to everything. That, my friends, is the kingdom of heaven. It is within us, Jesus words again, not mine. And we are kings and priests, queens and priestesses. So it has been written in countless ways in countless books, not just the hit sixty-six, so let it be.
Your friend and fellow traveler,