Draw therefore water with joy out of the wells of salvation. And in that day you shall say, sing to the Lord, call aloud upon his name, proclaim his glorious deeds among the Gentiles; make mention that his name is exalted. Sing praise to the name of the Lord; for he has done great things: declare this in all the earth. Exalt and rejoice, you that dwell in Sion: for the Holy One of Israel is exalted in the midst of her.” (Is 12: 3-6, Septuagint-translation)

As those of us on the Older Calendar enter the great feast of The Baptism of the Lord or Theophany, when we have the great blessing of water in our churches, we also hear this prophecy, among the many Old-Testament readings included in the Theophany-services. It calls us to “draw water with joy”; to quench our thirst, both physical and spiritual, “out of the wells of salvation.” Why can we do that? Because “the Holy One of Israel,” our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared “in the midst of her,” the earthly Church in our material world, immersing Himself in our “water,” of which most of our body and all other things material are comprised. Thus He makes possible a new closeness and fellowship with Him, in a communion both physical and spiritual. “Holy water” is one of the grace-filled signs of that new reality.

There seem to be other ways of quenching thirst, of filling “the hole in the heart,” without and separate from Him. There is the way of the workaholic, the alcoholic, the shopaholic, the codependent, and so on. These ways “help” for a while, – until they don’t. Until we realize that we’re actually digging “the hole in the heart” deeper and further down into darkness, away from light, – and decide to stop digging. So let me “draw water with joy from the wells of salvation” today, from One Who offers me “living water,” “that I may not thirst.” (Jn 4: 15)

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