I’ve realised recently I am guilty of liking click bate, especially “News” items, over the last few weeks I’ve been fascinated with the libel trial of Johnny Depp and his relationship with his ex-wife Amber Heard. Both of them are wealthy, famous, rich and would be described as attractive, yet as their lives are played out during the trial it’s very clear they are broken and empty. As far as the world is concerned they have everything but as James Bond would tell you, “the world is not enough”.
I feel very sorry for them, despite everything they have they are clearly lost, clearly empty and unable to find fulfilment. I’m reminded of the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4. She was looking for something and wasn’t finding it, she had had 5 husbands and was living with a man that wasn’t her husband. She was empty and she knew it. I recall one day how shocked I was when reading it because Jesus who is so gentle with this broken woman that when speaking to her about water He doesn’t deal with the cleansing power of water but the thirst quenching qualities of water. She didn’t necessarily see her sin but was all too aware of her emptiness. Jesus, the Holy Son of God recognised that this woman was broken, empty and looking for fulfilment but had been looking in the wrong places. So He talks to her about living water, a water that will bring satisfaction.
It takes up the picture that Jeremiah chapter 2 gives us, “My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water“. When I see the word cistern, I always think of a toilet, whilst that isn’t correct, the imaginary it presents us with is the image we should have. A cistern can hold water, but it’s not fresh. Water left for a while becomes putrid you wouldn’t want to drink it. Not only that the cisterns that the people have abandoned the living water for are broken and cannot hold even the putrid water. You can see this in the lives of celebrities like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. I remember George Michael actually sang about it, he sounded very depressed asking what are you supposed to do when your dreams come true. Kriss Akabusi made the same discovery when he won a gold medal, he thought to himself is this is? Thankfully he found Christ and joy. The beauty of the Gospel is that we are offered the Living Water which is God Himself. He alone can fill the God shaped void, He alone can bring genuine joy, hope and an abundant life, whatever our outward circumstances.
In Jesus conversation with the woman at the well I find an encouragement for the times we find ourselves in. I try rather unsuccessful to call the building we meet in a church because it isn’t. We are, Jesus said a time is coming and is now here when God’s people shall not worship in this place or that place but in Spirit and in Truth, whilst we may long to gather together- our God promises to meet with us as His people, we are people of the Spirit and of the truth and are free to worship wherever we are. Let us do everything we do- to the glory of God, let us worship by delighting in Him.