3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17: 1-7; Psalm 95; John 4: 5-42
Pearl: The quenching and satisfaction that Christ provides.
Function: To provide relief to mass anxiety and low level depression among worshippers, partly due to Covid-19 pandemic, by emphasizing the clear, pure, and high quality nourishment that God in Christ provides.
The “Rule of Threes” for average human survival: 1) three minutes without air; 2) three hours in extreme cold; 3) possibly three weeks without food; 4) three days without water.
- These are interesting facts but when you finally do need nourishment you crave good, clean, and pure water and you want rich, high quality, fresh food.
- Chances are that you are stocking up on some of these very items for the social distancing that we are doing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the closing down of so much in our lives, during this season of Lent, we have a unique opportunity to focus on that which truly nourishes.
Jesus approached a community well one day and met a Samaritan woman. That is a message in itself but not what I will focus on today. Today we focus on the goodness of God that he offered her that day. He offered her water which would not only quench her thirst but which would last for eternity.
- At first she took him literally rejoicing that she might not have to make the frequent, back-breaking trips to the well to carry the precious water needed for her household.
then she realized that our Lord was speaking of a different reality altogether.
She sensed that he was possibly the Messiah.
- She understood that he had drink like no other and food which really satisfies.
of the ways in which Christ nourishes:
- Christ connects you to God;
- He is a source of hope;
- In anxious times, with Christ there is always hope.
- You find eternal security;
- In this life and in the next life.
- From Christ comes contentment;
- Christ provides knowledge of self, of others, and of God;
- What ways would you suggest that Christ provides deep, satisfying nourishment? How do you best receive God’s nourishment?
During this unique Lent of “social distancing” we are finding ourselves on a retreat from our usual routines.
may be scary and present plenty of questions and concerns of its own.
- One of you suggested to me the other day that this feels a little like it felt on September 11, 2001, when our nation came to its knees in the face of a common enemy.
agreed. So while it upsets our “normal” and unnerves, it is a time of
- It is an opportunity to focus on that which gives life, that which truly satisfies.
am talking in a spiritual sense. Anyone at any time can have the nourishment
which God provides spiritually speaking.
- But nonetheless you will still need fresh water to drink and good food to be well.
Waters for the World” is a mission project of the Synod of the Living Waters,
in our Presbyterian Church (USA). What a great name in light of today’s
message! The Synod of the Living Waters takes in the great states of KY, TN,
MS, and AL. Living up to their name they send short-term mission teams to
install systems that deliver clean water. Here is the grateful response in one barrio in Matanzas, Cuba:
- “In November 2011, Living Waters for the World installed one of its water purification systems at Prince of Peace Church, and life for the people of this community changed dramatically.
- ‘As soon as the system was installed,’ Pastor Leticia Ramos reported, ‘the people of the community said, ‘Hey, the church has living water!’ and started coming.
‘One day, four volunteers from the 50-member church filled bottle after bottle, jug after jug, from two taps, while dozens of community residents stood patiently in line waiting their turn. That they distributed more than 2,500 liters of purified water in just over an hour.”
- “We never run out of water,’ said one volunteer, an elderly woman named Juanita, ‘just like Jesus’” (Presbyterian News Service, June 10, 2013).
- Just like the woman at the well with Jesus who met Jesus face to face, Juanita experienced the grace of Jesus through this fresh, purified water.
then Jesus said, “I have food to eat
that you do not know about…my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to
complete his work” (John 4: 32, 34).
- So the water of Christ is given through literal pure, clean water.
- The food that satisfies is doing the will of God like providing pure, clean water like the Synod of the Living Waters.
So now that your life is being scaled back, and everyone is retreating in large measure to their homes, remember your source of fresh water and fine food:
- Your source of fresh water and fine food is the Lord who by only speaking produces water from rock.
Lord is described as a source of nourishment in some other places in scripture
- “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42: 1, 2).
- “…I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants” (Isaiah 44: 3).
- “Hey! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isaiah 55:1).
- “To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6).
- To the Samaritan woman at the well Jesus said, “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” (John 4:10).
Ask your Savior to give you pure, fresh, clear water.
In the name of your Savior do the will of God and complete his work.