Remember, as a kid, what it was like to spend summer furiously riding bikes and playing tag, kick ball and chasing down the ice cream truck with your friends? Working up some serious summer sweat, to finally get home and take a sweet sip of that ‘red’ Kool-Aid.
Kool-Aid was THE DRINK of the 80’s. Fill a pitcher with water, dump in a pound of sugar, and empty a tiny packet full of explosive flavor crystals. Stir, add ice, and voila: Ah, satisfied!
"On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, 'Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’' (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)" - John 7:37-39
On the last day of the festival, Jesus lets the crowds know that if they’re thirsty they may come to him and drink. He doesn’t casually announce it. He shouts it. He speaks it with great intensity.
“Anyone who is thirsty may come.”
The unfortunate outsiders who’ve been written off as unworthy; the proud who’ve pretended they aren’t parched; the skeptical whose souls are dehydrated by doubt.
Jesus shouted. Those with a long track record of sin; those who’ve rejected, ridiculed, and run away from faith for years; those who are craving something real to change their lives.
The religious; the irreligious; the mature; the foolish; the rich; the poor; the accepted; the rejected; the spiritually dry.
You; me; our friends; our family members; our neighbors; our coworkers; our baristas; our roommates; our teachers; our students; our worst enemies. Anyone is invited to come and drink. Not the Kool-Aid of religion, but the refreshing, life-giving power of God. Not to sip, not to taste, but to drink. So much that rivers flow out of them... so much that they’ll never be thirsty again.
Come and drink. And then extend that invitation to everyone you know. The result will be miraculous.
"Jesus, you satisfy my thirst. When I work up a sweat trying to make sense of the world and my place in it, I can come to you and drink and be refreshed. Lord, I want people around me to experience that too, so send me with an invitation: 'If you’re thirsty, come check out Jesus.'"
This week, look for signs of thirst among the people you’re around. It doesn’t have to be obvious – sometimes God will just “nudge” you about someone if you’re paying attention. Extend an invitation to a gathering at Anthem Church. Write down their names, and pray God opens a door for you to invite them. Play your part in God’s plan for someone’s life.