Sunday, March 15, 2020 Thirst – Living Water
Read John 4:1-42
The timing of the coronavirus spreading in the United States during Lent brings us an unexpected opportunity. In order to slow its spread, sports events and other large gatherings have been cancelled, schools and universities are going to online classes, libraries in some places are closed to the public, and even our churches are not gathering for worship or meetings.
We associate Lent with spiritual practices and the first one that comes to mind is giving something up. Little did we know this year that the giving up would be imposed on us and not optional! Not being able to watch or attend or participate in something that we enjoy is difficult, but perhaps we can look at these as opportunities for spiritual growth. We can use some of the time when we aren’t able to engage in other things as time for prayer, or to say it another way, to have conversation with Jesus.
The story of the Samaritan woman and Jesus is such a conversation. She was going about her everyday life duties which included taking her water jug to and from a well outside of town to get water. Much to her surprise a Jewish man was at the well who requested a drink from her. What ensued was a life-changing conversation.
She had gone with an empty water jug, heard Jesus say, “if you knew who was asking you for a drink, you would ask him and he’d give you living water,” and after some conversation said to him without reserve, “give me this water that I may never thirst or have to come back here!”
The conversation continued and covered theological topics but also got personal. So much so that she told the people in her village that “he told me everything I have ever done.” That is a deep knowing and so wonderful that she had to share it with others and tell them to come and see.
The scripture sneaks in a phrase that attracted my attention: “left her water jar.” Had she filled it so that it was too heavy to take quickly? Was she so distracted that she forgot it? Or, was this to symbolize that she had indeed been filled with living water, so that she no longer needed it and “would never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” I like this option. The jar was empty but she had been filled.
What are you thirsty for? If Jesus came into your space, your territory, your well in Samaria, would you engage with him? What would you talk about? What would fill you?
Take some of your newly freed-up time for a conversation with the One who has a way of getting at what’s on your heart.
Evie Doyon, March 2020