Most of us in first world countries have never faced the concept of “thirsty”. Most of us have ample water. But for those who lived in Jesus’ time, in the desert countries, water was an invaluable resource. And most of those folks had to go retrieve their water, from a well. How fortunate are we that our water is in our houses. We can be spiritually thirsty, however. And the lectionary for this Sunday is full of imagery about our spiritual thirst. The Israelites, in their exodus, brow-beat (and apparently annoyed God) with their whining. They were thirsty, and Moses with God’s help gave a quick response. The psalmist reminds us to be grateful for all that we have received. The epistle from Romans speaks to God’s satisfying our spiritual thirst. So . . . are you spiritually thirsty?
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Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, . . . A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” . . . The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” . . . Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
sermons4kids: “Jesus wasn’t talking about our thirst for water from a well. He was talking about our thirst for God. The Bible teaches us that we have a thirst in our heart for the living God. And that is a thirst that only Jesus can satisfy. So when we have Jesus in our heart, He satisfies our thirst for God and we will never thirst again! Jesus is life! Drink up!”
Collect: Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Psalm 42:2 describes the psalmist’s thirst for God. For what are you spiritually thirsty?
- What promises do you find in Matthew 5:6 and John 6:35?
- Despite this woman’s five-husband past and immoral present, her future changed forever because of Christ. If you have a shameful history, what hope can you draw from Titus 3:3–7?
- Like the Samaritan woman, Peter and John were compelled to share the good news (Acts 4:19–20). What have you seen and heard about Jesus that you’re ready to share with others?
Saint Focus: For this week, take a look at Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, “Workers of Charity”. The former was ordained and took his message of confession, repentance, and forgiveness to the common people as well as the wealthy. And he was popular. He used the popularity to get cooperation from other priests and established a community to serve the community. From this effort and with Louise de Marillac, the Sisters of Charity were established. Sr Louise had been married when she had a vision of a man, who turned out to be Fr. Vincent. Upon her husband’s death, de Paul invited her to join him. Together their work grew in size and value. Be sure to follow the link below for a greater description. [from the Calendar of the church year according to the Episcopal Church.]
This week, the saints under consideration were :
- 12; Gregory the Great, Bishop & Theologian, 604; AND Symeon the New Theologian, Monastic & Poet, 1022
- 13; James Theodore Holly, Bishop, 1911
- 15; Vincent de Paul, Priest, & Louise de Marillac, Monastic, Workers of Charity, 1660
- 17; Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461; AND Gertrude of Nivelle, Monastic, 659
- 18; Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386
- 19; Saint Joseph; Thomas Ken, Bishop, 1711
Eye Candy: “Christ and the Samaritan Woman” Catacomb of Via Latina; “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well“, ca. 1420, reverse glass painting; “Woman at the well“, 2008, by Wayne Forte (scroll down to row before banners).
Brain Food: commentary by Pastor Bruce Epperly from Living a holy adventure website; commentary “On Beatitudes and Blessings” by David Lose;
“Psalm of Living Water” by Miriam Therese Winter
Leader: You are like a mountain spring, O Fountain of Living Water.
All: I sip from the deep down freshness of Your never-failing love.
Leader: You are like a summer rain, O Sudden Benediction
All: drench my soul and quench my thirsting spirit with Your peace.
Leader: You are like a raging sea, O Storm upon my ocean,
All: breaking into bits my fragile bark as I learn to lean on You.
Leader: You are like a waterfall, Oasis in my Desert;
All: source of my heart’s survival in the press and stress of life.
Leader: You are like a cleansing flood, River of Reconciliation:
All: washing away the selfish self-serving signs of my sinfulness.
Leader: You are like a bottomless well, O Club of lifegiving water:
All: full up to overflowing. Praise be to you, Shaddai.
Copyright © Miriam Therese Winter
Movies/Videos: “The Green Mile” (1999), about nature of evil and goodness of creation; “Pay it Forward” (2000), simply how to change the world; “Abominable” (2019), animated film about the power of friendship and music.
image Miller, Austin D.. Christ and the Samaritan Woman, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54772 [retrieved February 27, 2020]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/two_r_better/158783308/.
Preparing for Lent: Here’s one activity for Lent you may wish to participate in. Set a bag to hold your “things”. Each day of Lent, find something that you no longer use and put it in the bag. Then during Holy week, give your bag of things to a local charity. And for the 2nd activity, participate in Lent Madness (Facebook page) or website. Lent Madness is a fun way to learn about the saints of our church. Each day you select one of two saints who you believe is more “worthy” to be a saint. Near Palm Sunday, one of the selected saints will earn the “golden halo”. And “you helped”! How’s it going?
Watch “I am second Scott Hamilton” in which Hamilton talks about how God is with us in the midst of adversity, always. Jesus met the woman at the well at the place of her deepest need. God did not abandon the people of Israel in the desert, even though they grumbled and complained. God never abandons us either. Have seen God at work? Share it.
Excerpted from So It Is website.
If you wish, share your thoughts on our website.
This Sunday is the story of the Samaritan Woman, one of the classic biblical passages for those preparing for baptism at Easter. As the woman was gradually enlightened about Jesus and about her relationship to God, so the candidates are growing in their relationship with God during Lent. They look forward to receiving in baptism the “living water” of God’s Spirit in their lives. Those already baptized are filled with that living water and continue to be enlightened by God’s Spirit.
In the first reading, we move forward in the history of salvation from the call of Abraham and Sarah to the account of Moses and Israel in the Exodus from Egypt. On the occasion we read about today, God provides water for the people in the desert. This is an image of God’s loving care for all people in the spiritual dryness of this world.
The second reading is about the new life we have in God through Christ. Jesus gave up his life for us, in order that we might be put right with God. In his death and resurrection, the estrangement between God and humanity is being repaired. We, in baptism, have been reconciled with God.
As people in the desert thirst for water, so Christians find in their Lenten living the thirst for life that only God can quench. All of us, both the baptized and those preparing for baptism, are, like the Samaritan woman, being enlightened and filled with the grace of the living water that comes from our Savior.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.