Theme Living water

Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
19 Sep 2010
Bible Base: 
Psalm 84 and John 7:37-39
This theme came from us having a visiting preacher, Revd Benson Kimaru, who heads a charity providing clean water for his home village in Kenya.
Psalm 84
1)      This psalm centres around meeting with God in the temple and in its worship. Share examples of when worship in church has really blessed you with a sense of God’s presence.
2)      There is a sense of anticipation and expectation here; how can we have that sense of anticipation and expectation as we look forward to worshipping together? What hinders us in this?
3)      In verse 6 the word ‘baka’ is a word for a balsam tree; it also sounds like the Hebrew word for ‘to weep’ (and balsam trees weep resin). The valley of Baka may therefore be a poetic expression like ‘Vale of tears’. So this verse is about finding spiritual refreshment when you are away from God’s house and from God’s people, and particularly when going through difficult times. How do you find spiritual refreshment in ‘the vale of tears’?
4)      In his commentary John Goldingay comments about our calling to spend time in the world rather than spending all our time with God’s people:- “When they are not sure whether they will know God’s protection and blessing in their actual context, they find strength in looking forward to meeting with God in the company of God’s people again. They therefore commit themselves to walking in the world meanwhile in integrity and trust”.[1] Does that ring true for you?
John 7:37-39
5)      Water was used at the feast of tabernacles to symbolise the Spirit of God being poured out. So Jesus is promising his followers the living water of the Spirit to refresh them spiritually. Share what the Holy Spirit means to you.
6)      What conditions does Jesus give for the Spirit to be received? What does it mean practically to ‘come to him and drink’?
7)      ‘Out of his heart will flow streams of living water’. Who are these streams for?
8)      You might like to share other Bible passages about water (eg Ezekiel 47; Rev 22)

[1] J.Goldingay Psalms Vol 2 (Baker Academic 2007) p 602.