Romans 8:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 8There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Verse 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Verse 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, Verse 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Verse 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Verse 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Verse 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's lawindeed it cannot, Verse 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Verse 9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Verse 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Verse 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
On the first day of Vacation Bible School in my rural parish, I asked the children to bring their Bibles with them the following night. When Valerie came to me and said, “I don’t have a Bible,” I promised her I would find one for her. But when, on the next evening, I had to tell her one had not yet been purchased, she walked away with a disappointed look. Then, a few feet away, she turned back and said, “How about a loaner?” So it came to be that my Bible was loaned to Valerie. She promised, “I will take good care of it,” then added, “My brother Henry does not have a Bible either.” The next day I went to the Christian bookstore, bought two Bibles, and brought them to her home. She was thrilled to have her own Bible, thanked me, and returned my Bible. As I left, she yelled out the door, “My mom does not have a Bible either!”
As I reflected on that day, I thought, If only we all were that thirsty for God. Or as thirsty as the wonderful neighbor who graciously showed this family how to read their Bibles.
Lord, you dwell in our hearts to quench our thirsty souls. Make us channels of living water for thirsty people. Amen.