Morning Worship - Sunday, 27 September

MORNING WORSHIP

Sunday, 27 September 2020

(The video version is available by clicking HERE )

Water Test

 

“No grain,

no figs,

no grapevines,

no pomegranates—

and now not even any water!” 

 

An alternative version of our reading, this time from Numbers 20 -

“And why did you take us out of Egypt in the first place Moses, dragging us into this miserable country?  There was no water there for the community so the people ganged up on Moses and Aaron.”

 

Hmm this sounds very like Exodus 17 because it is the same story with minor alterations.

These are not subtle tales.

They lead to a very sharp point.

You can almost hear the people thinking “It does not matter who you are or what you have done in the past. We are in a desert with no water. We are not happy.”

In Cramond Kirk centuries later we do not need too much imagination to get into the shoes of these frustrated Israelites.    

Let us listen to Exodus 17 : 1 - 3

 

“There was no water there for the people to drink.

“Give us water to drink.”

The people were very thirsty. They complained “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

 

They are ready to attack Moses, actually prepared to stone Moses the greatest leader and liberator in the Old Testament. The man who is the model for Jesus’ own ministry.

Reading this story or the Creation story or Noah’s Ark story reminds us that water is central to the whole of the Old Testament. Then in the New Testament we discover Jesus and the Sea of Galilee stories and recognise that water is important throughout the Bible.

The stole I am wearing this morning is blue to represent water and I would like to tell you about it. It was made by the children of St Andrew’s and St George’s West.

Each year in September in George Street we had four services reflecting on the creation story. We had Mountain Sunday and River Sunday and Wilderness Sunday and of course Water Sunday. The Sunday School teachers decided to organise a joint activity over the four Sundays. The children would create a stole for the minister. It would be used each September and seen by everyone.  The stole would also be used at the children’s communion in August when they served the congregation the bread and wine.

An elder with excellent sewing and craft skills was asked to help the children. She purchased the blue material and a selection of fabrics to enable the children to choose their own material and be fully involved in the process. Templates of fish were made and the children cut these out and chose which one they preferred and where it would be sewn on to the stole. The finished article was presented at harvest. It was received with acclaim by all, even those not usually interested in clergy vestments.

When the stole was worn, it became a visual symbol of one of God’s greatest gifts – water. The sea, the fish and even the precious living water Jesus offers are all pointed to through the children’s creative work. Do you remember that when the Samaritan woman spoke to Jesus at the well, she was overwhelmed when he offered her “living water.” She said, “Give me that water, then I will never be thirsty again.”

When you think about it literally and spiritually, the Bible begins and ends with water. From a raging ocean in Genesis 1 to Revelation’s final chapter with these words “The angel also showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal”.

Let me remind you where we started.  We began by hearing a first-hand account of the importance of water. The Israelites, despite respecting Moses, were ready to kill him when they were thirsty.

“No grain,

no figs,

no grapevines,

no pomegranates—

and now not even any water!” 

With God’s help Moses transforms the situation. He brings forth water from a stone and this crisis is averted.  Water is essential for life, both physically and spiritually, and is a gift from God.

CH4 525

Have you heard the raindrops drumming on the rooftops?
Have you heard the raindrops dripping on the ground?
Have you heard the raindrops splashing in the streams and
running to the rivers all around?

             Theres water, water of life,
             Jesus gives us the water of life;
             there
’s water, water of life,
             Jesus gives us the water of life.

Nobody can live who hasn’t any water,
when the land is dry then nothing much grows;
Jesus gives us life if we drink the living water,
sing it so that everybody knows.

Martyn Christian Tinne Strover (b. 1932)

Let us prepare ourselves to drink freely, literally and spiritually, in our relationship with Almighty God this week as we listen to Simon playing a section of Handel’s Water Music.