TITLE: The Spring
By Aaron Morrow
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Thousands of years ago a group of hunter-gatherers began a settlement on a semi-arid plain near the source of a copious spring called the “As-Sultan”. Over the course of a millennium the settlement had grown to a town covering about 40,000 square meters and surrounded by a stone wall with a large stone tower. The stone wall that was originally built there may have been the first of its kind ever built.
Generation after generation passed building structures which were strong at first and then crumbled due to erosion and time or fell at the hands of conquerors. Yet, the As-Sultan continued to pour forth clean water. Over time, new buildings were built over the remains of old buildings and new and improved walls and towers over the tops of former barricades. One on top of another over and over again this phenomenon occurred until the settlement which became a town, which became a walled city stood 70 feet higher than the source of the ‘As-Sultan’ from whence it began.
The mound, comprised of as many as 20 settlements built on top of each other, is now referred to as ‘Sultan’s Hill’ or ‘the mound at As-Sultan’. The city that stands there now, and has stood for many thousands of years should be familiar to you…it is still called Jericho. And still the ‘As-Sultan’ flows.
Just as man has spent thousands of years trying to contain the ‘As-Sultan’ spring in structures of his own making, thus increasing the visibility of human efforts, while not affecting the value of the spring one iota; so have humans built vast and ornate monuments of religious tradition and theological dogma, one on top of another, extolling it's nearness to the wellspring of life, our Lord Jesus Christ but extending the distance to the source with every new layer of complexity.
And, just as it is with the city of Jericho, our eyes are drawn to this great mound of layer upon layer of man’s structures and away from the wonderful life-giving spring at the structure’s foundation. The fact that our eyes are drawn to the man-made structure is natural, though we must constantly guard ourselves against mistaking it for the spring. Additionally, the fact that the builders continue their construction is an appropriate use of their God-given talents and Spiritual gifts, though they must constantly guard themselves against obscuring spring rather than magnifying it.
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