The Water of Life
Gospel Reading: John 4: 1-26
Dear Community of Christians,
In Grimms' fairy tales we can find a story called “The Water of Life.” There was a king who was fatally ill. His 3 sons were weeping and very desperate, when an old man came into the king’s garden and gave them advice to search for the Water of Life. With this healing medicine they could help and heal their father. But he added that finding it would be very difficult.
It is our task today to recognize clearly that the kingdom of humanity is deadly ill. The disease of capitalism, and in the end materialism, led to this deadly illness. Many people already experience real desperation in the face of this disease.
In the fairy tale the 3 sons want to help the father, without asking the old man for the way to this healing Water. Two of them fail right at the beginning because of their arrogance and their selfish wish to win the fathers favor and inheritance. They are not motivated to bring healing, but to serve their own desires.
We know the Water of Life was given to us two thousand years ago through the sacrifice of Christ. It was given to mankind as a healing medicine, but to make it effective as a healing medicine, it seems man still has to find the way to achieve it. To do this he will need to pass many, severe tests.
The youngest son finally won the water of life but the two older brothers had not changed their immoral attitude at all. As the youngest slept, they changed the sweet spring water for bitter seawater. They wanted to be recognized as healers. To this day, and especially today, human beings are constantly cheated of the healing medicine.
These brothers in our society, even if they are our brothers, live in their selfishness. Because they have not rightfully earned this healing Water, their understanding of the healing medicine is lacking.
The youngest brother in the kingdom of man is our Ego. If we compare all the incredible trials the youngest has to go through on the way: losing the healing water, being thrown out of his father’s kingdom, nearly losing his life; then we might foresee that our present situation is certainly not the end of the obstacles to becoming a true “I am”.
Are we aware that the kingdom of man, our society, is rich in resources, a wealth of supports? A highly developed culture, spiritual science and a new religious wisdom. But the deadly sickness in society puts everything at risk of being lost. It is the single individual who can recognize the need for the water of life, the healing medicine and battle with inner readiness to find the way, and pass through the illness of our time.
Rev. Ute Koenig
Reference: The Water of Life by the Brothers Grimm (click to read)
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