October 20: Fountain of Life from the Dying God
‘On the day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. On that day, I will banish the names of the idols and…the spirit of impurity from the land.’ (Zech. 13:1, 2)
Zechariah prophesies that the One pierced for our sins upon whom we gaze and grieve is also the One whose death releases the Life that saves us. A cleansing fountain is Zechariah’s description of that ‘life’; St. John further describes that fountain as a river of ‘water and blood’ gushing from the Crucified (Jn 19:34).
Jesus does more than die in our place, substituting for the death our sins warrant. To be sure, His death cancels out our sin but we are left with the stain of sin—the truth of multiple violations encoded in our depths. Anyone made tender by Jesus’ love becomes sensitive to sin’s impact. No longer dull and stupefied by sin, we are horrified by what we have done to self and others. We need a bath that breaks impenetrable bonds. Only the fountain of Blood and Water can dissolve sin’s stronghold in our thoughts, affections, and memory.
I recently met with a small group of men who dared to expose sins which had tormented them for years. In the dark, these sins accused them daily. Certain of their monstrous state, these men brought their monsters before the Crucified to be killed, drowned in Love’s flood. I had not experienced this strength of exposure and cleansing in years.
Gratefully, in the parish chapel was a ‘dispenser’ of Holy Water; I liberally applied it to my brothers. As I did these words (Heb. 10:19-22) came to mind: ‘Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place through the blood of Jesus…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, our bodies washed with pure water.’ Not seeking to replace any man’s priest or pastor, I nevertheless knew that as brothers we had invoked the power of baptism upon sins never confessed.
Pierced for our sins, Jesus’ released a river of blood and water. He intends for that flood to penetrate the depths of our sin and break its grip. He aims at the violations that still assault and accuse us. Through confession to our elders, through prayer with one another, the sheer power of His blood cancels out the effect of evil and sets captives free.
‘You give us drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of Life.’ (Ps 37: 8, 9)
Join us as we pray for:
1. Rocky Mountain Region, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Cindy Del Hierro – Coordinator: For strength and vision for Cindy, for existing groups in the region and for new groups to be established.
2. Ministries of Pastoral Care (ministriesofpastoralcare.com):For the international schools and ministry, October 18-22, near Munich, Germany and for the local leaders including Christiane Mack; February 22-28, Auckland, New Zealand and for the local leaders including Gay Baretta; for MPC’s mission to South Korea and for the local leaders including Pastor Lee Jae Hoon.
3. New York City Diocese: Discernment for timing and team of new Living Waters group.
“Courage for Pastor Phil Strout (National Director of Vineyard USA), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”