I was blessed to preach again at Auburn Homes last Sunday. Lake many others, I covered the Genesis and John texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. Getting back into regular preaching is wonderful, but at the same time giving me more than I need to think about. (Do you have days where you brain just shuts off from all the ideas going through it?) Check out my post for tomorrow on the Woman at the well, Barbie and Mrs. Potato Head to see where my thoughts went.
Instead of posting the written text prepared for the 80 and over crowd (sermons are a spoken medium…best at the time and place), here are a few things to think about:
Exodus 17:1-7 – Water from rock. The text from comes after the people have complained that they are going hungry. So God gives them manna! Then God directs Moses to lead the Israelites to another location. Then when they get there and set-up camp, the people starting whining and complaining again! This time instead of food – as they are getting that – they want water!
What Moses seems to be hearing is whining. The Isrealites are whining about water and food – but as in vs. 7, ‘the Israelites argued with and tested the Lord, asking, “Is the Lord really with us or not?”’ Just like our kids seem to be whining about one thing or another, really, they are asking if we are there for them.
Even with the miracle of manna in the desert, the Israelites needed reassurance at the next stage in their wilderness journey. And while Moses was fed up with them, God understood and addressed their doubts, reminding them again and again that they were not alone.
Thought to ponder/writing prompt: What are you asking God for? How is what you are asking for really just checking to see if God is there on your journey?
John 4:5-29 – The woman at the well. Jesus comes to Jacob’s Well in the middle of the day and sits down. Then a Samaritan woman comes to fetch water – which no respectable woman would do in the middle of the day. We know that Jesus knows all about her, that she has been married in the past and that she is now so desperate that she is living with someone who isn’t her husband – she is trading her body and labor for a place to sleep and food to eat rather than living on the deadly streets. She has no other choice – and Christ knows this. Christ knows all about her. Christ knows what she needs.
The woman at Jacob’s Well was familiar with the promises of God, even stating in vs. 25 that she knew the Messiah was coming. So when she realized that this Jewish stranger knew all about her relationships and was still talking with her, it took only a short conversation for her to embrace that this was the Messiah (with a tad bit of unbelievable doubt as any of us would!). Deep in this woman’s heart she was yearning for the Messiah – and here He was.
Thought to ponder/writing prompt: What is the miracle you are waiting for? What are you yearning for? How may God be in the process of fulfilling it?
For both the Israelites and the woman, they are focused on physical water – but God knows it is not the water that they want and need. Rather, they need to know that they are not alone, that what they see, feel and touch isn’t all there is. Instead of the water from an earthly well that temporarily relieves their thirst, they are promised God’s Love and Grace from a well that will never run dry.
More to contemplate:
- Earthly wells can run dry – but Jacob’s well supposedly was good for at least 2,000 years. Still, they are temporary in relation to God’s well of Love and Grace. What do you need to sustain you? Both for daily life as well as for all time?
- God knows every secret of the heart. (Psalm 33:15, Psalm 44:21, Luke 16:15, 1 John 3:20) What secret(s) does only God know about you? How does this make you feel? Take some time to sit with God and talk about this secret.
Under the Trees talked about these texts last Thursday, please join us this Thursday, March 27th to continue the discussion. Click here for more info.