Third Sunday of Lent

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.— Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:7-10)

I’ve often struggled with the change I see in music from the Christian tradition. The lyrics of our worship music are increasingly focused on the personal interaction of God in our lives, rather than the communal declaration of God’s holy people living out the narrative of His redeeming love. In many of our present-day worship songs, the lyrics sound more like a love song than they do a worship song. It’s concerning because the words we sing change the theology in which we believe. Our faith is not just personal… it is communal. God is not a fairy god-mother to come make our day better… He is the reason for our living. Faith isn’t always meant to be uplifting and easy… Faith means picking up our cross and following Him.

And yet, when we read this Scripture passage, we see a loving friend, a Man who is reaching out to us personally, a God who knows even the most intimate details of our lives. Later in the story Jesus asks the woman where her husband is. She says she doesn’t have a husband. And Jesus basically says, “Yeah, I know. I’m just calling you out because I know you better than you think I do. You’ve had five of them and the guy you’ve living with isn’t your husband.” He knew her story intimately. He knew she wasn’t living a holy life and yet he pursued her. He desired a relationship with her. HE INITIATED the conversation to a woman who had no place speaking to him. His heart was filled with compassion and He couldn’t wait to give her the life-giving water and grace that He knew she needed to survive.

During Lent, you are seeking after God. But at the same time, He is seeking after you.

This is not a game of hide-and-seek. God is not running away like a five-year-old while you call out His name. His desire is to know you. And he’s standing on the other side of your door, knocking, waiting patiently. When you wake up in the morning, He’s waiting. As you drive to work, He’s waiting. As you eat dinner, He’s waiting. As you fall asleep, He’s waiting.

“But you don’t have a bucket – how are you going to get me water?” Just like the woman at the well, we argue with Jesus through our actions. We are not convinced He can satisfy our needs or else our lives would be lived very differently. We close the door to Jesus or argue with Him through our excuses, problems, and barriers. “I don’t have time.” “I’m too messed up. It’s going to take too long to turn my life around.” “It’s too much effort to seek after God.” “It’s easier not to try than to pray and be let down.”

Our hearts are restless until we rest in Him.

Do you really believe that? If so, why are you running to the well in the heat of the day, when you could run to the life-giving water? Why are you arguing with God through your actions to not seek after Him? Is He not worth it? Do you not believe that He will change you?

He knows you. He calls you by name. He sees your heart and he loves you. He desires you. He ALONE has the life-giving water. He stands at the door and knocks. Don’t waste your time at any other well trying to pull up water that will just leave you thirsty again. Go to the well of life, drink of the water that will truly nourish you.

This should be our goal during Lent: to intentionally seek the God who is passionately seeking us. (Skye Jethani)

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