As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 7:37-52
“The world is too much with us…”
In this poem from 1806, Wordsworth longs for nature’s solace in a world he perceives as increasingly materialistic and disconnected from natural rhythms. Can you imagine how he would feel in today’s world?
We have virtually instantaneous access to news, knowledge and events. We are inundated with horrific tragedy alongside meaningless trivia. If we truly absorb it all, the world can seem to consist of catastrophe, violence, greed and sadness, with just a sprinkling of human kindness and hopefulness.
Many of us respond by turning to nature for peace and reconnection. For me, such times in nature are a wellspring of renewal; I can go back to routines and concerns with a refreshed spirit and enlivened sense of wellbeing. Communing with nature gives me comfort and a sense of connection to God’s miraculous creation; it replenished my soul. In turn, I pray for us to be good stewards of our natural world so it can continue to provide us with such invaluable blessings.
At the time of John’s scripture, multitudes of Jews were gathered outside Jerusalem for the traditional Feast of the Tabernacles. It was a celebration of the harvest – specifically the gift of rain – so essential to life. I imagine that along with triumph, the priests and people felt tremendous fear and doubt about the future. Life was tenuous; drought and famine were everyday realities. Those in unfortunate circumstances suffered terribly.
In Jesus’ time, in Wordsworth’s time, today – people of all ages experience fear, disconnectedness and despair about the world they live in. At the Feast Jesus proclaimed, “Anyone who thirsts, let him come to me.” It was a tremendously radical statement. He declared that God, through Him, would quench all the thirsts of humankind, whether physical or spiritual. Some of the people believed; others wanted Jesus arrested. Would I have been a believer or a cynic?
The promise of coming to God’s table is grace, eternal love and yes, courage to face the many challenges of our world.
Jesus’ radical invitation is always extended. I pray to remember that, whenever the world is too much with me.
Columbia, South Carolina
You might also like to read:
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
A discussion of today’s Lenten meditation is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations of scripture passages and, the more we share, the more we learn.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane in Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at 1100 Sumter Street in Columbia.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.