A couple of weeks ago in our first Lenten Journey class, we discussed the importance of the spiritual discipline of fasting. We talked over what it might mean to give up ice cream, electronics, even food for a couple of days, or even a week. While we know that fasting can be difficult for folks with eating disorders and other health issues, we discussed the spirituality of such a choice. Finally, we asked a doctor in the room how long one could go without food or water.
They told us that we can survive without food for about forty days before it is an emergency. (That length of time is lessened by any health issues we may have.) However, we can only survive three days without water before it is an emergency.
Water is necessary for our life. It is almost as essential as air. It is the reason why scientists look for water as a sign of the possibility of life on other planets: water is not just important for us as humans, it is necessary for almost every form of life. It is why, here in Brevard, we hear so much about protecting our waterways and oceans. We know that without clean water, we would all be in deep trouble. This is also why we all rush to buy water before a hurricane, worried that if our water went out or was contaminated, we would be in deep trouble before the storm passed. The list goes on and on.
Water is necessary for our life and our flourishing.
In our Scripture passage for Sunday, Jesus has a lot to say about water. In knowing how important water is to our lives, it is no wonder that Jesus would compare his salvation to God’s living water.
In his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus is making a radical statement about the character of God, and God’s living water. First, the grace God offers us is necessary for our survival and our flourishing. Jesus offers it without hesitation, and we are promised we will never be thirsty again. The second message of Jesus in this moment is that the water is offered to us at our lowest point, when we are furthest away from God’s loving grace. The woman at the well was there at noonday because she had been rejected by her community and had lived a life that she was not proud of. She was beholden to cultural forces of rejection and scorn, and in this hot, dusty moment, Jesus offers her the promise of love and grace that will never run dry.
Where is that dry and dusty part of your life? Where do you feel lowest, rejected, the least lovable version of yourself? Know that Jesus meets you here, and offers his living water, from a well that will never run dry and a promise that we will never be thirsty again.
I can’t wait to continue to explore this scripture passage with you Sunday- we’ll see you then!