So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘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.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ 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.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Reflection by Janet Derby
It fascinates me when I read a familiar Bible story and I consider things that I have not before. I’ve read this story many times, including several times last year as it was one of our main VBS stories. I have in the past sympathized with the woman who comes to well at a time when others are rarely there, attempting to avoid the social interaction. For this reason, the idea that Jesus offers which would prevent her from having to come to the well attracts her. Yet, as I read it this time, I am immersed in stories of the coronavirus and people who are quarantined and national guard troops being called to deliver food and supplies to New Rochelle, New York. This gives a whole new perspective to the thought that we would not need to go somewhere public for our basic needs. I admit that the one day this week that the Fulton County schools were closed, there was a part of me grateful for the opportunity to work from home. Is there any one of us who has not been appreciative of the ability to get online to purchase items which are simply delivered to our homes? Still, I read an article this week which discussed that remote workers lose some creativity, empathy, collaboration, and meaningful interpersonal contact. Even the act of not holding hands during the singing of “Let There be Peace on Earth” felt strange last Sunday. We need those connections with others that the coronavirus scare threatens to take away. The woman at the well thought she wanted water that would allow her to keep her distance from others. Jesus instead was offering her healing water which would break down the barriers keeping her from fully experiencing God and community.
God of Love and Life, Help us during this time of uncertainty to drink your living water so that we may maintain our connection to you and each other.