Pastor’s viewpoint : June 9, 2018

Published 11:44 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

Someone asked me recently if I knew what our fascination with water was all about? I had a friend who bought a house in Tallahassee and asked why the price was a bit higher than he’d expected; they explained there was a “dry most of the year, but wet some of the year” creek bed in the back yard. Where does our “love affair” with water originate?
Maybe it’s because our earth is 71 percent water and our bodies are more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water; brain and muscles are 75 percent water, and bones are about 22 percent water. And if you spend any time in the woods, you’ll already know a human can survive for a month or more without eating food, but only a week or so without drinking water. In fact, more than 97 percent of the earth’s water is salty or, for some other reason, not available for human consumption.
So what happens if we drink salt water? It increases the sodium level in our intestines leading to diarrhea and then to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance … and contrary to a common health myth, it does not aid in cleansing or detoxing the body. So, stick to plain water … and remember, there is plenty for boating and fishing and swimming, too!
“[1] During this time a man from the tribe of Levi married a woman of his own tribe, [2] and she bore him a son. When she saw what a fine baby he was, she hid him for three months. [3] But when she could not hide him any longer, she took a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar to make it watertight. She put the baby in it and then placed it in the tall grass at the edge of the river.” (3rd Week/Genesis 41 – Exodus 10: Exodus 2 – 5, The Man Who Met With God)
The Bible is filled with stories about water, from Noah who lived on the water for a year in an ark, to Moses who began life in a river basket and later divided the Red Sea, to Jesus’ baptism by John in the River Jordan to our practice of New Testament baptism … using various amounts of water. Some “dunk” or immerse, while others pour, and still others sprinkle; and one group doesn’t use water at all, choosing instead to “baptize in the Spirit!”
We even refer to Jesus as living water and the bread of life. But in one country, they’d never eaten or even heard of bread, so calling Jesus the bread of life meant nothing to them. The translators, believing the two essentials for life are bread and water, discovered that in this area, the sweet potato was the essential food. So, they referred to Jesus as living water and the sweet potato of life … their simple message was that Jesus, like bread (or sweet potatoes) and water is essential for life.
Maybe you remember Jesus saying, “I came to give you life, abundant life!”

Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor , and, with Mary Ella, is a missionary to the Navajo Reservation.