Read John 4:1-26

 

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John” –although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized–he left Judea and started back to Galilee.

 

But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

 

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)

 

The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)  

 

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.”

 

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”

 

The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”

 

The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”

 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”

 

Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”  (NRSV)

 

 —from Rev. Mark Mills, Pastor-Elect,          First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Moundsville

 

            A teenager came to church with her grandmother only every once in a while at my first church. Years later, she dropped by with a friend at the church I was then serving only to say that, because of one sermon I’d preached, she was volunteering with a church and was planning to go into ministry. She had come by to say thanks. I was   reluctant to believe I could’ve done this, but it wasn’t me; it was the Spirit in me.        

 

            Never take for granted the living water in your spirit. The people who’ve needed me most seem to appear when my life is the most challenging, and are often people on the margins of society. Give a drink from your soul to someone, even if that person is one you consider unacceptable. Or, give it to everyone, because the person who most needs it may never cross your radar.

 

As I prepare to receive from your table,

and feast upon your abundant love and grace,

make me more able, O God, to see my neighbor,

and in their very human presence

to see my Savior face to face.

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