In John 4:1-26 Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman about having "living water." In the Bible, the term "living water" refers to water that is moving, like the Suncook River in New Hampshire pictured here. The sheep that so famously prefer "still water" in Psalm 23 know that if they are swept up in "living water" the weight of their wet wool will drown them!
The woman at the well takes him literally and thinks he is telling her that there is some magical way for her to keep getting water without having to come to a well every day. It could be that Jesus was prophesying about the eventual development of faucets. The most common interpretation, however, is that he was referring to the way the Holy Spirit flows into our lives to refresh and nourish us and then continues on through us to bring its life-giving properties to others.
While the Massachusetts Bible Society has a primary focus on educating people about the Bible, to focus only on the text in its historical and literary context can block the realization that, as a vehicle of God's self-revelation, the Bible is a living document. The living water that Jesus spoke about flows through its pages and spills out to its readers.
When we experience that sort of life--when these ancient words suddenly leap off the page and reveal things about ourselves and our current circumstances; when it suddenly seems that God is right there in the room with us and dry, dusty riverbeds become streams of living water--we look for others who can help us understand what is happening and how to apply this new wisdom in our lives. We need a faith community.
While we have many individuals who partner with us in our mission, there are also many Partner Churches who believe in what we are doing and want to support our work. Our listing of these churches might help you to find a faith community where you can grow spiritually. If you prefer an online community, post a profile on the MBS Social Network, One Book, Many Voices. Join in the discussions and meet people from all over the place who share a commitment to taking the Bible seriously but not literally. If you're not familiar with social networks, click here to find out more.
Also in these pages you can find Rev. Anne Robertson's weekly devotion, SpiritWalkers. You can read them here or subscirbe to the e-mail or the podcast. We also have sermons for you to read, hear, and watch in order to help you connect the Biblical text to your daily life.
Check the Preachers and Teachers page to see who might be available to come to your church or group and speak. And check the calendar to see when someone might already be coming to a location near you.
The Massachusetts Bible Society is able to sustain its ministries of Bible Grants, promoting Biblical literacy and nurturing open spiritual/theological dialogue through financial contributions from people and organizations such as you. Please click here to support MBS.