Of Water and the Spirit. A Mid-Feast reflection.

Mid Pentecost.

It is no mistake that water, especially water from a spring, is used to illustrate the presence of life and transformation of the dry and barren to lush and plentiful. Regardless of culture or race, age or gender, water, (and even its imagery) resonates within the human soul.

 “Come, let us drink, not miraculous water drawn forth from a barren stone (Ex. 17:6) but a new vintage from the fount of incorruption, springing from the tomb of Christ. In Him we are established”. (Ode 3 Paschal Matins)

 These words from the Canon sung at Pascha, refer to the exodus of Israel from Egypt, and the miracle of the rock springing up water for the people. Although this miracle (and many others) sustained Israel throughout its journey, it was nonetheless and incomplete compared to the exodus that the Lord made possible for us from the bondage of death and sin, to life and freedom, springing up to eternity.

With the Mid-Feast of Pentecost (middle of fifty), we continue to bask in the Risen Lord’s presence, but we also await in anticipation both the Lord’s Ascension, and moreover the gift of the “Comforter, the Spirit of Truth”, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, on “that last and great day of the Feast”, Pentecost.

In the same way that the Sunday of the Cross (the commemoration half way through the Great Fast), presents a cross road in the Lenten journey, encouraging us to bear the Cross of Christ daily, in order to participate with Him in His Resurrection: the feast of Mid-Pentecost, brings us to the cross road of these fifty days of light, reminding us that our participation with Christ and His victory over death, is by and through, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Throughout our services in the coming weeks we are given the opportunity to see in the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Christ “the gift of God…a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn. 4:10/14). We are also given the opportunity to see what the man born blind saw when the Lord commanded him to wash in the pool of Siloam, that is “the Light of the world”  (Jn. 9:38); and as well we are given the opportunity to see the  Lord who comforts us with the promise of His Father (Lk: 24:49) and the baptism of Holy Spirit (Acts. 1:5) to be poured out on all flesh (Joel. 2:28) at His holy Pentecost.

May we, like a sponge, soak up the grace given to us by the Lord  in these of days joy and mercy, echoing the words from the hymn of the Mid-Feast:

 “Having come to the middle of the Feast, refresh my thirsty soul with the streams of piety; for You, O Saviour, did cry to all: Let him who thirsts come to Me and drink. O Christ our God, Source of Life, glory to You”. (Troparion of Mid-Pentecost)”