Third Sunday in Lent
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” words from a sailor challenged to find a way to quench his thirst amid the salty sea water. Fresh water is essential to human survival, re-minding us of the ordinary nature of the story in John’s Gospel today: thirsty people coming to a well to find water.
Yet, as we have noted throughout the season of Lent, God again demonstrates how we might find the spark of the Spirit in the ordinary things of life. Water is needed for survival, but as Jesus reminds the woman, everyone who drinks of it will be thirsty again. Life has the need for water, but also the thirst for something more: “a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
What is extraordinary in this conversation is not only that Jesus speaks of his water as eternal and life giving, but that Jesus speaks at all to the person who approaches him at the well. For we hear that she is a Samaritan and a woman—two categories of outsiders with whom no self-respecting Jewish man of his day would have a conversation. Yet maybe this is another example of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, a Spirit that would abolish boundaries and stigmas to share life with all who come seeking.
Janel Rice, pastor, Calvary Moravian Church