The picture above was taken in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina where there is abundant water and abundant life.
Recently I spent some time home in Colorado. The winter has been very warm and dry and the landscape looks tired, lifeless. Without water desert plants will stay dormant. Plants that are not adapted to the climate will die unless someone gives them water. Anyone from a dry climate knows well the intimate relationship between water and life.
Last Sunday we read the story of Jesus’ conversation with a woman from Samaria in the Gospel of John. This is the longest recorded conversation of Jesus in any of the Gospels. And it’s with a woman! John portrays her as an ideal disciple. Our first clue is that it is “about noon.” In this gospel, time and light are symbolic. So Nicodemus, in chapter three, comes at night and remains perplexed by Jesus. The unnamed woman gradually comes to understand who Jesus is and then proclaims that truth to her village. Hence, she is an ideal disciple.
Jesus has no bucket to reach into the well, but offers the woman water. Not just any water, but living water. He knows everything about her, all the difficulties she has faced, all her sins, and all her sorrows. Because of these, he offers her salvation.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
Water is life and water is power.
Water sculpted this slot canyon and allowed trees to grow in the desert.
Jesus offered the woman from Samaria not just water, but a spring of water, ever flowing, always giving life and power. All she had to do was ask and then accept the gift that was offered.
Jesus offers each of us life. We only have to ask and accept the gift that is freely and lovingly offered. We all have dry periods in our spiritual lives. We need to remember the woman from Samaria and with her say, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty.”