Five years ago, I had the privilege of co-leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with some excellent people from Columbia Theological Seminary. We spent two weeks there – a week in Galilee and a week in Jerusalem – and crisscrossed the countryside, visiting important historical and biblical sites. One of the places we visited en route from Galilee to Jerusalem was Jacob’s Well Greek Orthodox Church. According to tradition, this place – near the present-day Palestinian city of Nablus – is where Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well and offered her “living water.”
This coming Sunday, we will spend some time with this story from the Gospel of John, Chapter 4, and Jesus’ cross-cultural and counter-cultural conversation with someone many would have considered an outsider, a sinner, and someone not worth talking to. Jesus sees her worth, though, and offers her a new life. The women in our pilgrim group got their picture taken together at the well, grateful recipients of the new life that Jesus offers us all.
I can attest that the water from Jacob’s Well is, indeed, wet. There’s a bucket that drops way down into the water, and you can crank the bucket up with a rope. When I tasted the water, I was more mindful of the significance of where I was than what the water tasted like. Some things just taste more meaningful, I think.
Was the water at Jacob’s Well “living water,” though? Well, the water from the well did quench my thirst for a little while, but – as Jesus says – “Everyone who drinks of this [well] 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.” (John 4:13-14)
There are times when our life in and with God might feel like a spring of water gushing up to eternal life, but there are probably other times when we feel dried up and dried out. It is my hope in this Lenten season that you and I can draw closer and closer to the source and Spirit of our life.
See you in church!
Grace and Peace,
PS – This Sunday, we will commission our Puerto Rico Team as they prepare for their recovery work. What a blessing it is to send our people out into the world to serve – offering all people the living water of grace.
Prepare for Worship
This Week: “Going Back to the Well” (Will you give me a drink?)
- Read Exodus 17:1-7
- Read John 4:5-42
- Read or sing Hymn # 479 – “Ho, All Who Thirst”