The church that I pastor is blessed to be among abundant waters. We’re situated beside a small pond, next to a creek called Broad Run, which flows directly into the Potomac River. So when I heard that my presence was requested to give a message to Summer Crew kids at a nearby park, there was only one way I was going…by kayak!
The view from Jason’s kayak
I’m an outdoors person and for me, as for many nature lovers, water is more than a daily survival requirement or even a convenient mode of travel. Water can represent some serious spiritual truths, and it’s a great way to teach kids a lesson about Jesus.
Water flows all through the scriptures I love. There are so many water images in the Bible—think of Creation, the Great Flood, the parting of the Red Sea. Of course, the setting of much of the New Testament is on the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus and his friends spoke on boats and on the shoreline. Just like these campers and I!
Summer Crew kids listen to Jason’s message by the water
On a daily basis, you and I may not pay much attention to water. It’s so abundant here! But you know that the Jews of Exodus paid attention to water when they were led through the wilderness. The apostle Peter paid attention when he was called to walk on water with Christ. We should pay attention, too!
If you look closely at the images of water in the Bible, there are multiple ideas that emerge. The depth of water brings forth ideas of life and creativity. The availability of water—or not—symbolizes the quenching of thirst for the weary, and also spiritual refreshment and deep renewal. Then there is baptism which involves cleansing and purifying and the promise of eternal life.
One of the ‘deepest’ lessons about water that I love and connect with when I’m out with my kayak or running along the waterside is this: water is humble. It seeks the lowest point. Water runs down. Unless it is carried or pumped, we never see water go up (though it is taken up, filling the clouds in a process that is invisible to us). Water is only ever seen to flow one way, seeking the low places, the less exalted station, just as Jesus humbly serves the lowly and shows compassion to the least fortunate people.
This is this natural flow of water and it is also the supernatural flow of the Holy Spirit. When we are humble and seek the lower places where our service and love are needed, we find we’re carried along by a current that’s not us and that is more powerful than we are. We find our efforts strangely strengthened. At least, that’s how I connect with this spirit when I am at the waterside.
Senior Pastor Jason Duley
Galilee is returning to full, open ministry this summer and Summer Crew VBS is a big part of that. We’re offering three weeks of camp and will have pictures and stories soon.