In the German language we have the idiom "yesterday’s snow" which is a kind of synonym to "old hat". At the board in front of our church here in Munich, Germany, I recently read the following: "Who thinks that Jesus would be as useless as yesterday‘s snow, should consider that yesterday’s snow is our drinking water of tomorrow." What does that mean?
Towards the end of winter we still find snow in some shady places, whereas at sunny spots the first new little plants already coming through the ground. That snow, however, remains, often it is grey and dirty, and not really pretty to look at. Freshly fallen snow, on the other hand, transfers the grey landscape of winter into a glittering white magically beautiful world. Yesterday’s snow is not looking good. The term "yesterday’s snow" which the Germans use for "old hat" refers to something old that one has known for a long time. One does not really enjoy it any longer.
Yet snow is something really useful. Apart from the fact that is keeps the ground underneath warm and thus protects the plants in there, it also preservers water. Rain water immediately sinks into the ground or it flows away. Snow remains. Snow that falls in the mountains in winter, remains there, and in summer when it is hot and dry, it becomes the necessary drinking water for us.
Water is absolutely essential for life. When a human being does not get any water for three days, he dries out and dies.
Yet what has all this got to do with Jesus?
In the Gospel of John 4, 14, Jesus says: "Whoever drinks the water that that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more. The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life."
Later in John 7,37 He says: "If anyone is thirsty let him come to me; whoever believes in me, let him drink. As Scripture says, ‘streams of living water shall flow out from within him.’"
Jesus knows that every day we need water in order to survive. Human beings don’t only need nutrition for the body but also for the heart and the spirit. This is what Jesus refers to here.
The German emperor Friedrich the Great once ordered a very cruel experiment to be made. In an orphanage he divided the babies in two groups. Both groups were fed and kept clean in the same way. Yet in the one group the nurses were ordered to caress the babies and lovingly care for them. In the other group on the contrary the nurses had strict order not to give any love or tenderness to the children. In the group without love all children died.
So love and care are just as essential for the survival of human beings as are food, drinks and oxygen. Many psychological problems of our days are the result of a lack of love. Many crimes are committed because of lack of love. It is not enough to provide nutrition for children and to offer them all kinds of education. They urgently need love and personal attention.
Yet how can we adults give love to our children or to any fellow adults when we possibly don’t have enough for ourselves?
In the above quoted passages from the Bible replace the words "water" with "love" and "drink" with "receive" and "thirst" with "sadness" or "loneliness". Do you now understand what Jesus means here?
Jesus wants to give us love so that we in return will become able to pass this love onto others. Jesus loves us and is widely opening both arms towards us. When we accept His love, when we drink His water, then we ourselves will gradually become a well of love. We will see our environment in a different way, we will feel peace, calmness, and joy. All this we will pour out onto our surrounding and our children.
2000 years ago Jesus was here on earth. Yet that is not yesterday’s snow or an old hat that does not interest us any longer. Jesus is here, now in this very moment, and all you need to do, is to drink from the water that he offers to you.