Thursday, June 14, 2012
Shiva Bible study - John 7
For a few months now, I (Chris) have been a part of a small Bible study group at the Shiva motel here in Modesto. The Motel owner is Hindu but has been very open and generous in providing a space for us to meet free of charge. She feels the scriptures will help the folks living at the motel. The Shiva is a pretty desperate place. It's where the addicted, handicapped, mentally ill and desperate of our community land when there is no where else to go. Among other traits, Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction.
We have been going through the gospel of John and we're using these little free booklets we ordered online HERE (a great, free outreach resource). We have between 5 and 10 that gather. Usually only one or two from the actual motel itself.
To open our meeting, I asked the group about the most beautiful, refreshing place they had ever been. We talked about rivers, mountains, the beach and even the desert. The last to share was from the Shiva and she shared that the most beautiful, refreshing place was "right here". This took me back a little as 9th Street and the Shiva are the last places I think of when I think "beautiful and refreshing." It is a dirty, pest ridden motel an ugly part of town.
Today, we were in John 7 and read together Jesus' declaration... "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”
If Jesus' promises are true, then the lady from the Shiva was right. With Jesus, where ever we are can be the most beautiful, refreshing place there is. Because the river is in us. Rivers of living water.
We talked about how we don't always FEEL like God is near. We don't always feel the waters flowing. Sometimes we have to just trust that God is near even when we don't feel it. But the group also shared what can help in those times. Music, worship, thanksgiving (counting your blessings), gathering with others and getting out in nature can all help. In Christ, living water is always available to us if we take the time to come to him and drink.