When I was little I was a shocking practical joker. My Uncle Billy and I used to get our heads together to compare notes. He made a good one – a decorated jar, so you couldn’t see the curled up wire snake inside. If someone took the lid off, the snake would leap out with a whistling noise. Stand back and laugh!
When I read the passage of Genesis 29:1-10, I wondered why the shepherds waited until they were all gathered to take the stone off the well. Jacob removed it on his own, so it didn’t take all of them. It seemed so inefficient to wait for everyone to arrive, then have to queue up for the water. It seems it was pretty heavy for one guy who wanted to show off his prowess, but too heavy for a young shepherd or, as in Rachel’s case, a shepherdess. So they were looking after the weaker ones. That’s good. It was probably also a good opportunity to have a good natter and catch up on the news.
In church life we can be a bit like that – having cosy fellowship, and not really getting on with the job. Jesus, the spring of living water is in our midst, but we prefer to ‘keep a lid on it’. It might take some effort; it might take concerted effort, and we have to join forces and determine to make things move. But there is a thirsty world waiting.
And it’s not that satisfying for ourselves either. Sooner or later, we begin to want more of God for ourselves. Fellowship is good, looking after one another is good, but it’s not enough. We need to see the power of God released. Let’s pray together to push away whatever is blocking His flow. We need to be in earnest, and we sometimes need a specific word from God to understand what we are praying into. Sometimes we need wisdom, so we are all pushing in the same direction. Whatever it takes, let’s get the lid off and see God move!