Tag Archives: life

Water Thoughts

Elwah River in Olympic National Park

Water images have dominated my thoughts this week.  Gary Bailey’s funeral (see 1/5 post), the Life of Pi,  and my Sunday sermon all have strong water themes.   The Life of Pi centers on a sea survival story; my sermon will be on Jesus’ baptism.   Water evokes both fear and hope, death and life.

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I saw a lot of water.  On a clear day my family home had a view of the Puget Sound, but I also experienced plenty of clouds and rain.   The abundant rain kept everything green and alive, but when I had to deliver the afternoon newspaper, rain could make the load and route miserable.  While backpacking in the  mountains I would marvel at how glaciers of ice carved such spectacular landscape.   Yet when it became necessary to cross glacier-fed rivers, I realized that with one wrong step I could easily become one of boulders tumbling towards the sea.

In the Bible water is a symbol of the chaos and destruction as well as life.  In Genesis 1:2, the water is part of the dark void before God’s creative Word is spoken.  In Exodus the Red Sea destroys the Egyptian army while providing a means of escape for the Israelites.   In I Kings  17-18, a drought is a sign of God’s displeasure with King Ahab, but later Elijah demonstrates God’s power to bring healing rain.  Jesus calms the stormy sea that threatens life in Mark 4 while in John 4 Jesus offers the Samaritan woman living water.  Water can destroy or give life.

What water image brings you life or hope?