Rivers of Living Waters
Along many a route, in many a village in Brittany, you will come across many a spring with a monument built on it or around it. Some will be named ‘Source de St…?’ or ‘Fontaine de St…?’ or very similar. Some are built in memory of a Saint who founded the source of a particular spring. Then sanctifying and declaring it as a holy source of water, which to be quite truthful, it isn’t the hardest thing to do to find a flow of water here, you are surrounded by them.
The rock that lies underfoot over most of Brittany is not a permeable rock. Neither is it far from underfoot. The soil is quite saturated, the fields are a lush green. The undulation of the land makes it both necessary and easy for the surface rain water to find a natural path, thus producing many natural flows of water. Many of them had been built around and dedicated to the founding Saints of Brittany who had travelled from Cornwall, Ireland and Scotland, making them into resting places along the way for the many pilgrims who travelled around Brittany. Visiting the many churches and cathedrals that where the very centre of life in this corner of France 500 years ago.
Pilgrims came from afar to travel along these routes that many had travelled before. Strengthening themselves and others in prayer as they sought to get closer to God. Purging themselves and seeking spiritual answers as they walked hundreds of miles, these sometimes seated areas with fresh running water would be a welcome relief for wearied feet. One would then meet other brothers and sisters and share a tale, a prayer or a piece of bread, and fill their water bottles for the next leg of their journey.
These waters had no magical powers, the water would have only satiated their natural biological thirst. There is a cross overlooking this fountain, some may have been Latin scholars and had the blessing toe, have been able to read for themselves. The majority it is feared where misled by the cloak of the catholic church But God knows the very heart of a man, so these pilgrims may not have travelled and pursued in vain.
We are completely blessed living in the age that we do. The age of information is readily available. We are wonderfully blessed by the freedom that we take for granted. It is not afforded all in this world today. For us it is easy to pick up our Bibles at any time we like, a simple feat that could result in imprisonment, punishment or death in some parts of the world.
We know from John’s gospel in chapter 4 when Jesus is at Jacob’s well in Sychar, and He meets the Samarian woman at about the sixth hour. That normally a Jew would have no dealings with any Samaritan’s, (4:9). It is said that a Jew would walk a full days walk to go around the area, purposely to avoid having anything to do with a Samaritan. Here we have Our Lord Jesus speaking to a woman in daylight at a central point. But it is here, at this very point where He, the Son of God, lays claim to being the One who was prophesied about, the coming Messiah, in 4:26 we read;
“I who speak to you am He.”
But it is in verse 13 & 14 where He makes an astonishing claim;
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
How could one never thirst again, or what was this fountain of water? We find the answer just a couple of chapters later in 7:37-39;
“If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink.
“He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
“But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.”
One of the scripture foretold can be found in the book of Isaiah 44:3, where we read;
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
“And floods on the dry ground;
“I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants,
“And My blessing on your offspring.”
The promise of the Spirit was prophesied through the prophet Isaiah some 800 years before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was only one part of the prophesy fulfilled in Him, albeit a very important one for today’s believer. That believing in Him, the Lord Jesus, we will never thirst again. In Him only are we satiated and we go to Him as the source of the living waters, we have no need for anything but Him. Amen.