Chilmark Community Church
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Third Sunday in the Lenten Season
“In nearness shall Thy voice be heard;
Spirit to spirit Thou doth speak.”
(Alfred Henry Vine)
Scripture Reading for the day is from St John 4: 5-42
We are happy you are reading, reflecting and worshiping from home. Our Scripture reading for reflection is from the Gospel according to St. John. It tells the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at Jacob’s well as he was travelling through Samaria on his way to Jerusalem. (Please read the record of the event from the Gospel.)
Water and Food are two basic human needs. In the Gospel narrative the woman, like Nicodemus (last week’s reading), misses the point regarding spiritual things. When Jesus offered her “living water” but she thought it was physical water from Jacob’s well. She saw and thought of only the physical and not the spiritual. “Everyone who drinks of this water will never thirst again,” said Jesus. The woman light-heartedly asked Jesus to give her that living water so that she would have no more need to return to the well. Jesus spoke of the water that quenches our spiritual thirst and yearning. Jeremiah noted that “it is the Lord who is the fountain of living water.” Jesus pointed to the Messianic age in which, “They shall not hunger and thirst” any more (Isaiah 49:10).
There is the larger theological question of the nature of the souls of human beings and the nature of the Divine Soul (Holy Spirit) and how these two relate to each other. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans 8:16 noted that “it is that very Spirit (God’s Spirit) bearing witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”. Your soul and my soul are connected to God’s Holy Spirit and in constant communication.
Along with this there is also the question of God granting us free will. In the midst of our Spirit to spirit connection God grants freedom of will. So it was for Adam and Eve. So it was for the Israelites in the desert, so it was for the people of Jesus’ time and so it is for us today. Think of our biggest human struggle and how crucial today’s reading is to the question: “Who/What satisfies our deepest needs: “living water,” wine, strong drink or what?” Every human soul is thirsty and needs to be quenched at the fountain of “living water” given in God through Jesus Christ.
May God’s Divine Spirit continue to speak to your spirit and mine in this time of uncertainty and dread.
Richest blessing as we travel the road Jesus walked during this holy Lenten Season!
Let us Pray:
Almighty and everlasting God,
giver of health and salvation,
we give thank for your presents with us in times of both health and illness.
As your holy apostles anointed many who were ill,
so pour out your Holy Spirit on us and especially on those who are ill, afraid or mourning the passing of a loved one.
Increase our faith and confirm our hope in you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.