GLS 2016

Big Splash: 8/29-30/2015

By Laura Buffington

There are a lot of good reasons for us to end a series on Peace with a weekend filled with baptisms.  We think the rest of God starts with surrender.  We think Shalom happens when we die to self and live in Christ.  And in an even simpler way, water brings peace.  

There is something about water that makes us stare off into the distance.  It's why we like to sit beside lakes and rivers and oceans.  If we tried to explain why water has a calming effect, we might ruin it.  It just is.  

In Psalm 46, the writer is describing how God is like a refuge, and then starts talking water:

"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved." —Psalm 46.4-5

I love this view of a chaotic city kept peaceful by the moving water.  We see this same picture in Revelation 22, only this time the city is heavenly and the clear source of the river is God. 

Sit with this for a second. Why does this picture keep coming up?  What should we make of how these waters calm the world but water can also flood and destroy the world?

Maybe it's because death and life are so closely connected in the kingdom of God.  Maybe it's because cleansing and renewal sometimes require destruction. Maybe it's because when God moves through a city, or a person, it simply can't stay the same.  

On the other side of this baptism weekend, consider what this kind of movement might work in you.  Where do you need renewal?  Have you stared off into the distance lately?

Consider reading Psalm 46 and Revelation 22 beside each other this week.  

Pray for the peace of God in your heart, home, and city. 

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