Have you ever thought much about the potential of water in ministering to people?
Jesus used and continues to use water as a contact point with people for their spiritual good – 1. Canna where he turned water into wine and caused attendants to take notice (John 2:1-11), 2. Jacob’s well where He invited the Samaritan woman to know eternal life in Him (John 4:4-26) 3. The Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water impressing upon His apostles His deity (John 6:16-24), 4. The pool of Siloam where He instructed a blind man wash in order to gain his sight and come to know Him as Lord (John 9:1-41 (v. 7)), 5. Jesus impressing upon His apostles their need to be servants by washing their feet with water (John 13:1-17) 6. Baptism, where today He meets us to cleanse us of our sins, effectively saving us and making us children of God (John 3:1-21, Colossians 2:11,12, Galatians 3:25,27).
Similarly, water can, and in some fundamental ways is still, a contact point for our service to others today. For brethren who care for the aged or ailing, water is used to serve their needs of hygiene and sustenance (i.e. baths and meals; Matthew 25:31-46). For our brethren employed as waiting staff, water is used in rendering service to their bosses and patrons (Colossians 3:17). Family members include water in their service to one another in all of the above ways (1 Timothy 5:8). Brethren sharing the Gospel of Jesus include baptism in water in our proclamation and invitation for the lost to be saved (Acts 8:25-40).
Recently, I implemented new way to use water in ministering to people’s souls. Not new to the brotherhood mind you, for I’ve heard of others doing similar things, but new for me. This past Tuesday I visited an intersection near the Anaheim meeting house that is the location of four bus stops. Temperatures that day were in the hundreds. Buses were scheduled to arrive every fifteen minutes.
With a cooler, full of bottled water and ice, I visited each bus stop as it filled with people. I asked every person if they’d like a free bottle of ice cold water. Over the course of the next two hours, twenty-seven people accepted. Each bottle had a home printed label with Anaheim’s meeting house location and website information. There were fourteen who politely refused the water, but others who enthusiastically received it. Every one said, “Thank you.”
Who knows what will come of it, but God? One thing is rather certain though, there are twenty-seven more souls in the community who have reference to the caring heart of the Lord’s church in Anaheim! God be praised.
How might you help the community see the caring heart of your local congregation of the Lord’s church?