Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

Getting bored of church inside four walls

Getting bored of church inside four walls

Meeting God in creation this month is making me feel like the woman at the well in John 4.  Day after day she endured the heat of the day desperate for water - the essential life-giving water. She did what was necessary to get the water she needed.  I don’t know what it tasted like - was it even fresh-tasting? Did it have bits of sand and grit in it? Does it matter? It was necessary for survival.  

And yet Jesus meets her at this daily routine and tells her that the water she has been enduring many a mid-day sun to obtain is nothing compared to His water.  Her water is from a non-moving water source - a well. It sustains but there is nothing beautiful about it. It is hard to get and requires daily drudgery.  His water, on the other hand, His living water, He compares to a natural spring - which never dries up and is always available and whose taste is exquisitely refreshing. 

“Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water…Everyone who drinks this (well) water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
— John 4:10; 14 (The Message)

How those woman's eyes were opened that day! As she began to understand that Jesus was talking about spiritual things and not a physical spring, she was deeply moved and impacted.  She didn't want to settle for the un-moving well water of life anymore - she wanted the real stuff. 

In the similar way, I don’t want to settle for chlorinated, treated tap water Christianity any more when fresh spring water is available.  Sure tap water is useful and essential and I am grateful for it, just as I am grateful for my church community here, the buildings we meet in and the daily times of prayer and worship we have together.  But I don’t want that to be the only thing we drink - the only way we worship: within four walls.  I want to drink the Living Water of God within His living, breathing creation.  I am loving the daily discipline of meeting with God in creation this month and I am loving seeing and hearing how our community here is engaging with it too - individually and corporately.  

I loved meeting at 9pm on Sunday night for an hour in the local park as part of our once a month 24-hours of prayer.  I loved sitting amongst the trees under the open sky and singing praises in the park.  I loved the freedom the kids had to run around, the space to move and the soft grass under my feet.  I loved that a friend from the neighbourhood felt free to join us and receive a touch from God afresh. 

I loved meeting at 8am on Monday morning on the beach to worship in front of the ocean - first with praise songs about His Creation (O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hands have made...) and then thanking Him for the sea and what it reveals to us about Him and then caring for His creation by cleaning up a section of the beach. 

I am loving the daily discipline of getting outside and having a walk with God - often along the beach. I love looking for God amongst His creation and see how He talks to me through it. 

The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!
— Acts 17: 24-29 (The Message)

This September is a month where I am intentionally getting outside into creation to meet with God.  It is part of a year long embracing of grace through different spiritual disciplines.  You can read more about the year here, and more about this month's focus on creation here

What we can learn from Celtic Christians about ‘Thin Places’

What we can learn from Celtic Christians about ‘Thin Places’

Why I now love the sea

Why I now love the sea

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