When I was a child we used to vacation by a beautiful, clear, fish-filled lake in Maine called Wilson’s Lake. Water flowed in from the East and flowed out to the west towards the New Hampshire border just a mile away. The water was good to drink, which was good, because the cottage in which we stayed had no running water.
Now let me tell you about another lake, the Dead Sea actually. Every day it receives more than enough fresh water for it to be as fish-filled as my lake in Maine.
However, nothing can live in the Dead Sea, neither fish nor plant. It’s water is way too salty for that. The problem is that the fresh water flows in, but is unable to flow out.
There might be an analogy here with the Christian faith. The water, the living water flows into us as we gather for worship every Sunday and our sometimes parched souls are once again quenched.
But then that living water must flow from us, else we become more like the Dead Sea and less like Wilson’s Lake. If all we know of faith is what Jesus can do for us, if all our faith is centered on our relationship with Jesus, to the exclusion of everyone else… why that quickly becomes a Dead Sea sort of faith.
From the very beginning of Methodism in the 18th Century to this very day, Methodist people have lived into this truth: When the love from Christ flows into us, it must flow out, so that we will remain fresh in the faith.
I have seen Christ’s love flow through mission trips: in the past few weeks we have had folks minister in Peru and our youth and adults ministering in the mountains of Virginia, fixing homes and forging relationships with the people living in those homes.
I have seen love flow through those who volunteer in choir, working with children and youth, visiting nursing homes. I have seen love at work in our Vacation Bible School as people volunteered countless hours… and how wonderful it was to hear a little girl say, “Mommy at VBS they are teaching me all about God.”
I have seen this love flow through people generous with their financial gifts, because they believe in the power of the church to offer transformation and hope.
I invite you to worship with us Sunday, to be filled again with the power of Christ… and I invite you to share that power, that love with others. And that way, your faith will be as satisfying as a cool drink of water from crystal-clear Wilson’s Lake.