This year in northern Virginia we have had an unseasonably warm fall. Up until the last few days, my tomato and pepper plants still had fruit on them. The only problem was that there was no longer enough daylight for the fruit to actually ripen.
Of course it is not just plants that are adversely affected. People, too, notice the diminishing levels of light. For many it can be a source of depression. Without light, our well being begins to suffer.
This year in northern Virginia we also had a mini drought in the fall. It was becoming so severe that plants without well established root systems dried up and died. Even the leaves on trees were turning brown and dying.
Just like light, water is absolutely necessary to sustain life as we know it. So it is no surprise that these two elements are picked in this passage up as symbols of the power of God not just to sustain life but to cause it to robustly flourish.
Sadly, that’s not always the case in the world. People, and the life within them, are often crushed rather than cherished. Our world is full of violence, in all its various forms. People become increasingly disrespectful, rude, and hostile to one another. We become less and less mindful of the needs of others as we become more and more obsessed with our own.
God in Christ shows us a better way; a way of light and life, of free flowing water that revives the soul. For those of us who have had glimmers of that life already, we know that nothing else even remotely compares. And we long for the day when that life in all its blessed fullness is made manifest.
The promise of these verses, and the great hope they offer, is that one day, friends—maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, maybe not even this century—but one day, that day will come.