Jesus quotes scripture today in saying Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water. He is in the midst of his talking about his body and blood being the bread and wine of life, to which most people are recoiling and arguing with him and each other.
Jesus is onto something here...haven't we all experienced in some fashion the infectiousness that "good buzz" from people can produce? Positive enthusiasm can and does generate more enthusiasm. The opposite is as true, negativity is a buzz-kill. One of the things Jesus is driving at today is this idea of our permanently changing our hearts, our attitudes, our mindset. The joy that comes from our believing heart is truly infectious: people see it, feel it, and want to know how to get it. And when our heart is truly turned to God, those nay-sayers cannot turn it back.
Few of us ever reach that level of ecstatic belief. Most, if not all, of us are like Nicodemus, who makes his second appearance today. He had visited Jesus five chapters back, in the pitch of night, because there was something churning in his heart. That seed, planted and taking root, is stretching out its branches today when he is pushing back on those nay sayers that surround him. Nicodemus' heart is turning to God, to Jesus. That is what we are called upon to do, everyday: turn our hearts to God, and the infectious joy that can suffuse us cannot help but pour out of us to those we encounter.
This is a lifetime's effort, with twists and turns and bumps along the way. That journey we are all on is a gift we can share, we cannot help but share, as our heart overflows.
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 2012, jfd+