I wonder how many people can identify where this picture was taken? Some may be surprised to discover it was taken just a few meters from our church building. Beach Estates Park begins on the edge of our church parking lot, and these falls are just a few meters down the trail. In fact, the falls can be seen from the play area behind the church. Dozens of people every day make their way down this trail which takes them to the ocean.
This picture reminds me of a passage in Ezekiel 47. There a stream flows from out of the temple, down the hill towards the sea, getting deeper as it gets closer to the Dead Sea. When it enters the Dead Sea, the water from this stream brings life to the area. Fish flourish, animals gather along its banks and trees grow bearing fruit all year long. The water flowing from the temple represents the presence of God, flowing out to all peoples. Where that water flows, there is life. Revelations 22:1 uses the same picture, with a crystal clear stream flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb (Jesus). The stream is called “the river of the water of life.”
These pictures show us that God desires to be present in every community, and every nation. It is important to note that the life giving water starts from the temple in Ezekiel, or the throne of God in the Revelation. Both stand for the same thing, the presence of God. The stream has often been seen as the ministry of the Holy Spirit, going out to teach the nations of the love and grace of God. God desires to bring abundant life to all who will put their trust in Him (John 10:10).
So as I looked at that stream flowing next to our church building I was challenged by the Holy Spirit. We too are to be a conduit through which God’s life giving water can flow. His Holy Spirit in us should take the message of life in Jesus to all in our city, our Province, our land. God has set us outside the temple during COVID, but according to this vision, that is okay. God’s presence flows to us and through us to the community, bringing life to all who believe. Hear Jesus’ words:
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. (John 7:37-39)
– Pastor Gary