Stirring the Waters

Women in Church and Society (WICAS) Asian Regional Consultation
17-22 April 2006 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Study: Springs of water

Third morning bible study by Rev. Dr Barbara Rossing
Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, USA

In her third Bible study, Dr Rossing focused on water, as recorded in John's Gospel.

She based her study on John 7:38 and John 4:14, two verses which speak not only about living water flowing from Christ, but also from us. 'Each of us is to be the one in whom the water of life wells up and flows out in the world,' she said.

When John refers to 'eternal life' (John 14:4) that comes from the living water, this does not necessarily mean that we will live forever in some death-defying way. The western tendency is to spiritualize texts like this and thereby attempt to escape from our responsibilities in the world. But John's gospel helps us to see the world in an incarnational way – that we are part of this world and are called to bring living water to it.

Eternal life is more like the 'abundant life' that John speaks about in 10:10. It is about 'knowing God' (17:3); this is the well of water that springs up in us and flows out of us into the world.

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