(The Spirit and the Bride say) ... "And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." Revelation 22:17b
Typhoon Haiyan was a thief.
Haiyan stole the homes, the food and, most frightening of all, drinkable water from hundreds of thousands of people. The lack of usable water was a double disaster. Not having fresh water not only brought about dehydration, it also created a situation where diseases like cholera and typhoid could quickly become an out-of-control epidemic.
With multitudes desperate and in immediate need of water, many suggestions were made and a multitude of solutions were proposed. Just a few of those ideas were
1. bring in drinking water by tanker truck. Trucks were a good idea, but their success was dependent upon passable roads and an adequate fuel supply. Trucks were useless in areas that had been most affected and remained cut off.
2. use water from the U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington. The distillation plant on the ship can produce 400,000 gallons of fresh water daily. That's a lot of H20, but delivery was problematic. Helicopters could take water anywhere, but they remain limited as to how much they can carry.
3. distribute water purification bottles. Developed after the great Asian tsunami, these inexpensive bottles filter out parasites, bacteria and other dangerous substances. These bottles can make almost any water drinkable and are a great help, but those bottles aren't any help if those who are suffering, don't have access to them.
In short, typhoon Haiyan put many people in a desperate situation where water became life. It is a situation which many of us find difficult to understand.
Even so, in this story there is a lesson for God's people to remember. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, suffering, death and resurrection this world has a bountiful supply of the water of life. It is there and it is free. Even more, the Lord encourages all humanity to come and drink deeply from this soul-saving water.
But we believers also know the Day of Judgment is coming.
That day, like a typhoon, will steal away the opportunity for people to drink and be saved. If they aren't prepared beforehand, destruction will be certain and inescapable.
So that all might be prepared for that day is why your church, your Synod, and Lutheran Hour Ministries do their very best to bring Christ to the nations. Our message has always been and always will be a sharing of the Lord's wonderfully simple invitation: "Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that by the Holy Spirit's power, I have drunk from the water of life. Now may I do all I can so others may, while there is still time, drink deeply and be prepared for the Day of Judgment. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries