I am comforted and challenged by the many water references in the Bible. With water, God creates, renews and brings rest to the creation. The interweaving of God and water begins in Genesis 1:2, “While a wind from God swept over the face of the waters” and flows through to Revelation 22:17, “And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.”

It is water that appears to be a barrier for Moses and the Israelites as they fled Egypt. However; the water became an opportunity for God’s presence and power to open a way to the journey towards fulfilling the promise (Exodus 14).

It is water that nourishes the desert for new life (Isaiah 41:18).
It is in the water that Jesus kneels to be baptized (Luke 3:21).
It is water and baptism that forms the first act of The Great Commission to “Go and baptize” (Matthew 28:19).

Water is the foundation of human life and the life-giving power of God. 

I am blessed by this year’s Annual Conference Theme “From Water to Witness,” based on Ephesian 4:5. It is the power and love of God that weaves water through our lives so that we can know the grace and love of living in God’s promise. It is water that washes over us with forgiveness and grace, and it is water that Jesus tells us to use to initiate others into God’s love and grace.

We come to Annual Conference with many emotions and hopes and fears. In such a time as this, water acts as a shared symbol to guide us as we listen, learn, and lovingly connect to one another. We may disagree, but we all drink from the fountain of living water offered by Jesus. I would like to suggest…

Let us practice: “Come to the water all who are thirsty and drink!” (Revelations 22:17)
Let us practice: “Go and make disciples of all people, baptizing them!” (Matthew 28:19)
Let us practice: “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” (Matthew 25:35)

Ask yourselves these questions:

  • How shall I quench my thirst through worship?
  • How shall I offer living water to others?
  • How shall I witness to God’s love in my life by loving those around me?

Here is the promise:
“The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)