GUEST POST by Jake King
The resource Living Water was inspired from water balloons, yes water balloons. I planned on having a crazy night near the end of summer full of water games. A couple months before this night, I was reading my devotions and this passage just hit me in the face like a water balloon. I was reading from John 7, and in verses 37-39 something really stood out to me. We are all familiar with Jesus inviting all those who are thirsty to come to him, it’s even in some worship songs. But then Jesus talks about how the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow from the hearts of those that come to Jesus.
Jesus is living water, and satisfies all that come to Him. But when we come to Jesus, we are then commissioned to be a river of living water to others. When others encounter us, they should be directed to the source of Living Water. What made this passage even better for me was learning more about the context of the Scriptures that Jesus was talking about.
In the Old Testament, with the Feast of Booths, the people remembered their wilderness journeys and the times that the people were so thirsty that Moses had to give them water from a rock. In this festival a person would carry water from this pool and take it to the Temple, pouring it out to remember when God provided. When they would do this they would chant something like “come you who are thirsty, come to the waters and drink from the wells of salvation.” Jesus was showing that he was the fulfillment of this festival! Those are the kind of awesome Old and New Testament connections I love.
So what started as planning crazy youth group games that involved water (knowing that I would speak about Jesus as Living Water), led to a deeper understanding of the Scripture for me, and thus for my youth group. Through the planning of the games, I also came up with a twist on kickball. Imagine kickball with the base (or bases, depending on your group and how you want to play), and the only way to get out is by being hit by water balloons.
We had a blast playing all of our water games and the students especially loved the Water Balloon Baby Pool Kickball, and cannot wait to play again. But after all the fun and games, after all the water, we sat and learned together. We learned about how Jesus is Living Water and how he commissions us to be rivers of living water to others.