No More Bodies
Several bodies have been found near water in the past several weeks in the Austin area – at least one a week. Another one was in the news this morning. I do not think this is a coincidence.
Ezekiel 47 speaks of life-giving water flowing out from the sanctuary to the surrounding area. This fresh water changes its environment, even transforming the Dead Sea into a place where life thrives. Only the stagnant waters of the swamps and marshes remain unaffected.
The natural world we see around us often reflects what is happening in the spiritual realm; I believe this trail of bodies is not to be overlooked by God’s people. It is a picture of those who come to a place of refreshing only to come face-to-face with death itself – and in most (if not all) of the recent deaths in the local news, they have died alone.
So here is what I am asking: Is this a reflection of the unintended affect the Church has had on the world around us as we have directed our attention and resources on building mini-empires and internal programs? Have we failed to effectively carry the water of life that flows from the throne to those who need it the most? Have we become stagnant swamps, unaffected by the living water that passes us by on its way to bring hope, healing and restoration where it is needed, carried by those who dare to break free from “church as usual” and follow the persistent urging of the Spirit of God who still hovers over the face of the deep?
Ezekiel clearly describes a steady stream of life-giving water (we are the water) that comes out from the sanctuary (God’s presence) that flows so freely that it restores life wherever it goes. Multitudes of fish of every kind (all kinds of people from different backgrounds) live in these waters. Trees on both banks bear fruit monthly (not just seasonally) and bear lasting fruit that never fails (discipleship) and leaves that do not wither and provide healing (regenerating resurrection power).
This is the mission of the Church. It is what we must aspire to be – a conduit of the presence of the Most High that pours out from inside the walls that would contain it into the world around us with such volume that it becomes a river no one can cross.
Until life flourishes and no more bodies are found along our banks…