25th October 2013

Thirsting to be Thirsted After

This is not an advert for the latest soft drink or bottled water on the market. They are the words of St Augustine who like countless people today, experienced the love of God at such a profound level that He was overwhelmed.

St Augustine, who lived in the 4th century, embodies the search of many young people even in our times: the pursuit of love and truth. He spent many many years doing so in different philosophies and in fleeting pleasure – but they left him dissatisfied and insatiated. In his own words, his restless heart only found peace when he found – or rather let himself be found – by Jesus.

In the Gospel of John  we read about an episode where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman by a well and tells her “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10

He is saying the same words today to all who care to listen: If  people only knew what God is offering them, they would seek Him who alone could satisfy their thirst with the ‘living water’ of both His love and His truth.

Here at Youth Fellowship we are seeing this more and more. With over 400 people attending this year’s SEVEN course, it is our joy to point to the well from where  people can drink of the love,mercy, joy, truth and goodness of the Living God. He challenges us to let go of the wrong ways of seeking happiness and gives us the grace to do so. He  calls us to embark and persevere on the journey which culminates in eternity – and this journey is best done with others.

May many more people experience as their own the following words that St Augustine expressed to God who ‘thirsts to be thirsted after’

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.