Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 4th March 2024: Rivers of living water

Festival of Tabernacles Water Temple John 7 Jesus Thirst

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 7

Pool of Siloam

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Aged 19 years old I arrived with my husband Adrian, who was in the RAF, in Cyprus in the month of August to start a three year posting in the beautiful city (as it was then) of Famagusta. The heat of the sun after chilly Norfolk was overwhelming, but it was the need for water that struck me the most. When shopping we would be offered a free drink in each shop as we bought our groceries, and the day that we walked to the tombs of the kings near Salamis I felt positively ill as the blazing sun shone on the white marble, for there were no shops and no water available. This was years before people anyone took bottles of water wherever they went.

Our reading from John's Gospel happens at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles (also known as the Feast of Booths or Sukkot), the last of the feasts that God ordered the people of Israel to keep. The feast begins at the time the autumn harvest finishes. It's a time of celebration as the people remember God's provision in the present and especially in the past when they spent forty years in the wilderness reaching the Promised Land. During the festival the people live in booths (temporary shelters with roofs made of leaves and branches) to remember how God found water and food for them in the desert. Each day of the festival a huge pitcher of water is carried from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple to be poured out onto the altar. But on the last, the eighth day, water is not poured out, and this is when Jesus boldly shouts that those who thirst should come to him to drink and satisfy their deepest thirst, that is their spiritual thirst.

We should remember that the state of being thirsty is not actually something, it is a lack of something that we crave for. We are empty and need filling up! The question is, how spiritually thirsty are we this Lent, and how much do we need to be filled by Jesus? Compare your spiritual need to the desperation for water under a blazing sun - how does it compare?


Lord Jesus Christ,
we come to You this day,
thirsty not for water
but spiritually thirsty,
knowing that only You can satisfy us.
Fill us with Your Spirit
that we may draw closer to You
and be satisfied.

Return to index