A word from our pastor…
St. Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, was one of Christianity’s foremost theologians. Augustine was born in Thagaste (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) in Roman Africa. His mother was a devout Christian; his father was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed. During his teenage years and until his conversion to Christianity at age 31, Augustine led a hedonistic life of sexual promiscuity and excessive partying. In his autobiographical work Confessions, he reflects on his adolescence, recounting, “I went to Carthage, where I found myself in a cauldron of Godless lust.” He subsequently became locked in a fruitless struggle to discern truth regarding good and evil apart from God.
Throughout this phase of his life, Augustine was intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually restless. He knew what he was hungering for; but only at the time of his conversion, when he actually professed his faith in Christ, did Augustine recognize that his hunger was for God, who is the only food that satisfies. About these years, and of the restlessness that all who seek truth and to understand the meaning of life, he wrote, “God, our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
While traveling through Samaria, Jesus encountered a woman who was struggling with the same inner restlessness. She had come to Jacob’s well in a town called Sychar, where Jesus was, to draw water, and he asked her for a drink. During their conversation, recorded in John 4, Jesus tells the woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Taking and drinking what Jesus offers, as the woman at the well and Augustine both did, fills us inside with a new sense of truth and purpose in life. God works through the Holy Spirit as we feast on his Word to empower us for the facing of everyday situations with resolve and assurance.
During these summer weeks of rest and relaxation, I invite you to spend some time contemplating the areas of restlessness in your life, and the things which are getting in the way of your fellowship with God. None of us would intentionally deprive our bodies of food or water when they hunger or thirst. Why then should we deprive our souls? Jesus, the living Word of God is the only one who can satisfy our hungry and thirsty souls.
Please join me during the coming weeks in thinking about these questions:
Are God centered activities a priority in my life?
Am I, in heart, body and mind, resting in God?
What does fellowship with God entail?
How would people be able to tell that I am a follower of Christ?
May we each be filled with the water Jesus offers, and filled so full that it becomes in us a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dave Weber