Sermon January 7 2024 – Rev Peter Norman

Embracing the Essence of Water – A Journey of Sensory Connection & Spiritual Awakening

Have you ever considered how deeply water is intertwined with our spiritual journey? Today, let us immerse ourselves in the contemplation of water, this most fundamental and enigmatic element of our world. In every gentle whisper of rain, the nurturing flow of a stream, or the rhythmic lull of ocean waves, we find a connection that transcends the physical, reaching deep into our spiritual essence.

Envision the sensation of a cool, refreshing drink of water on a sweltering day in Aotearoa. Feel its soothing path down your throat, rejuvenating and reviving your being. Imagine the droplets on your skin, like a gentle shower of warm summer rain, providing comfort akin to a tender embrace. Listen to the soothing sound of water, the gentle patter of rain or the serene flow of a river, engaging your senses and calming your soul. These experiences remind us of the fundamental needs of both body and soul. Picture the tranquillity of a still lake, mirroring the sky, or the majesty of a waterfall, powerful yet peaceful. Each aspect of water reflects a different facet of our spiritual journey.

Just as water nourishes our bodies, so too does it enrich our spirits, as illustrated in the sacred narrative of Mark 1:4-11. The baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River is a poignant illustration of spiritual awakening. ‘And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him’ (Mark 1:10). This baptism signifies more than a ritual; it represents a conscious commitment to a new phase of life, marking the beginning of a journey toward greater enlightenment and unity with the divine.

Furthermore, in the opening verses of Genesis, we are reminded of water’s primordial role in creation. ‘And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters’ (Genesis 1:2). At the dawn of everything, water is a cradle of life, transforming chaos into order, darkness into light. This imagery resonates with the continuous cycle of creation and renewal in our own lives. Amidst the turbulence and uncertainties of existence, water stands as a symbol of divine presence and action, offering potential for new beginnings, growth, and rejuvenation.

Water, vital to our existence, demands our respect and stewardship. Its significance is highlighted in Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, symbolizing spiritual rebirth and the presence of the Spirit of God. Similarly, in Genesis, water is the foundation of creation, where the Spirit of God brings life and order from chaos, symbolizing potential and divine creativity. These narratives remind us of our duty to cherish and protect this essential life source. Let us draw inspiration from the resilience and sacredness of water, reflecting on how we can preserve and venerate it in our communities. This calls for a commitment to safeguarding water, recognizing its role in sustaining life and embodying spiritual renewal.

How will you let the essence of water guide your spiritual journey today? As we acknowledge the diverse ways in which different cultures and faith traditions view and revere water, let us unite in our shared reverence for this life-giving element. In doing so, we honour not only the essence of water but also the essence of our shared humanity.

Easter Services

Thursday 13th April                     Tenebrae Service 7.30pm at TMC

Good Friday 14th April

Combined service with St Peters 10am at TMC

Sunday 16th April

Dawn Service 6.30am (meet at The Strand, Takapuna Beach)

Easter Sunday 10am at St Lukes Methodist Church, Northcote

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