Rain, Clouds, Puddles, and Living Water   
Copyright 2003 by William Meisheid

It is raining today. It has been raining a lot of days lately. Indeed, it is hard to remember the previous four years of semi-drought when inundated by our current abundance. From some perspectives our church has been going through a semi-drought for a long, long time. However, there are a few rain clouds on the horizon; there is the scent of moisture in the air. Let me explain.

I have been talking with Herman Smith about his evangelism efforts. His plan is very simple, very low tech, and very personal. You see he distributes used bulletins from our Sunday services with a cover letter from Herman and his wife. In this down-to-earth and straightforward manner he introduces our church to the surrounding community, while also introducing himself as a committed and representative member. Has it born results? Yes, it is beginning to. While Herman would like to see his efforts expanded by others within the church, let's not miss the fact that his small cloud has begun to scatter raindrops on our parched field.

 I have also been talking with some of the members of the website committee. They have succeeded in putting into the websphere a quality presentation of our church community and mission. Unlike Herman, their approach is complex, high tech, and somewhat impersonal. But it can reach people Herman's approach cannot. I see another cloud that has been seeded in today's tech savvy population and we await its chance to begin watering our ground.

As I leave the service on Sunday I often look into the Sacristy and see the Altar Guild at work, cleaning up after the service. I have noticed new faces there, faces that represent the slowly growing diversity of our congregation. This is good since new commitments to service mean new commitments to the ongoing life of our church and bode well for watering our future.

I was glancing at the vestry listing the other day and was struck by the freshness of the list. Yes there are members who have served before and should be commended for their continuing sacrifice, but there were also a number of "freshmen", people who are serving for the first time. That is also good, since they are new clouds, new possibilities for watering our common ground.

Looking out my window I see a small bird splashing in one of the puddles in my parking area. There is exuberance in its enjoyment of the water. From that sight my mind drifts forward to the day when there are puddles throughout our church and people splashing exuberantly in them. Jesus told a gathered crowd in the temple court " "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:37-38)

Rain, clouds, puddles, living water, all images of the needed nourishment for growth and health. All reasons to enjoy the current abundance of rain while it lasts and to celebrate the efforts of those who are working to make it a spiritual reality in our midst.

God is good.