“The river of God is full of water” (Psalm 65:9)
Having lived for a decade in Montreal, around which flows the St. Lawrence, I found this text from Psalm 65 odd. The St. Lawrence is always full of water, except when it is overfull, which is its own problem. That may also be true for Pittsburghers with three ample rivers to their credit.
The verse makes sense only for a river that is not always full of water, in a place that has a word like wadi to describe a dry riverbed. It was true also for me growing up in rural Nova Scotia, on the banks of a tidal river; I was close enough to the ocean to experience the daily ebb and flow. Twice daily, the St. Mary’s River (pictured above, a tiny and poor cousin of the Monongahela, Ohio, or Allegheny) would be full and brimming over. And then not.
The assurance that the river of God is full of water makes sense when the creek bed dries up or the tide goes out. The rise and fall of such a river remind us of plenty and of want, security and anxiety. The changes are reminders of our own lives—sometimes deep and full, and sometimes much less so.
But the river of God is full of water. It is never not full.
This week I came off my sabbatical and began, in earnest, the work of serving the clergy and people of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Our common life together will be one of ebb and flow—high and low tides. Whatever the circumstances of that common life, we swim in and drink from the river of God, which is full. Always. Our hope and joy and satisfaction are in Jesus, the Head and Source, the Living Water, that fills the river of God. May He give us grace daily to swim in and drink deeply from that river... and there find refreshment for our life and mission.
Grace and peace,
First day of work selfie