Jetstreams of life
Ezekiel 47:6-12 (IB)
6 “My guide then said, “Note well what you see, mere mortal,” and brought me to the edge of the river, where I sat. 7 I noticed many trees along the bank of the river on both sides. 8 My guide then said, “The water flows into lands to the east and down to the Arabah. It will empty into the sea whose waters are salt and it will be made fresh. 9 Every living creature that wanders upon the face of the earth will be drawn to the river and will find refreshment there. There will be an abundance of fish, for wherever these waters flow and everything they touch will be renewed. 10 Anglers from En-gedi to Eneglaim will stand along the banks casting their nets. The fish will be rich in variety, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 The swamps and marshes, however, will not be made fresh: they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of every kind will grow along both banks of the river. Their leaves will never wither and their fruit will never fail. They will produce fresh fruit, for they will be nourished by the waters flowing from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be food, and their leaves will be medicine.”
In this passage, I am struck by the idea that anglers from En-gedi will come and fish at the river and, perhaps also, “the sea whose waters are salt” (i.e. the Dead Sea). En-gedi is an oasis, west of the Dead Sea, which is currently home to a nature reserve. It is a place borne of natural spring water; a source of life in the middle of the wilderness. Yet, even from there, anglers will come to this river to find a rich variety of fish. How special must this river be to draw those who already have food and water? It is not only ‘the least of these’ who are drawn to God’s abundant goodness.
Generous God, we rejoice that you welcome each and every person into your carefully balanced world of life. Help us to recognise all who are drawn to your side as beloved sisters and brothers, even across the many social divides we have created. In our mutuality of receipt, may we better-recognise our interdependence, which moves us to share more radically the gifts we have received, for the flourishing of all creation, AMEN.