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Week of: June 23, 2019
Scripture: Psalm 42 and 43
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
(Psalm 42:1-2, NRSV)
On any given morning we can look out the window at our house and see the resident herd of about 10 deer crossing from one side of the hill where they spend the night, to the far side of the hill and the flowing river where they spend the day. They move deliberately, calmly, a few fawns leaping, along the same path every day, a patterned behavior that keeps them alive. They move toward water instinctively, drawn by their daily thirst. As the night falls, they move up from the river and back to their sheltered place of rest.
The psalms are filled with images of life-giving water: streams of living water, still waters, trees planted near the water, deserts turned into pools of water. Conversely, there are vivid descriptions of the absence of water: a dry and weary land where there is no water, grass that withers, chaff blown in the wind. The psalmist knows we are like the deer, thirsting daily, needing God’s renewing water.
In the patterns of our busy lives — rehearsing, writing, creating, researching, caring for others — we often neglect our own need for water. We are thirsty, longing for flowing water, for spiritual refreshment. In this season, let us move deliberately, daily, to the source of life-giving water.
Even as we thirst for you, O God, you lead us to the water of Life.
Bring us daily to this river of refreshment;
give us a drink of your renewing spirit;
that we may find ourselves energized anew for the ministry in which you lead us,
through Christ who is Living Water. Amen.
Associate Dean Emerita for Worship and Music
Associate Professor Emerita in the Practice of Liturgy and Music
Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Photo: The Rev. Barbara Day Miller pours the baptismal waters during a worship service at Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)