John 4: 10 – 14
“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Today we return to Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus’ invitation to drink living water.
There were times in my Christian journey where I was so very desperate for more of God’s presence. Page after page in my journals reflected my intense desire to experience deeper communion with God. I was surrounded by people longing for the same thing. We sang songs that embodied this desire. We listened to (and sometimes preached) sermons that exhorted us to better and more spiritual discipline and practice.
It was exhausting. And often defeating.
Somehow we missed what Jesus meant by drinking living water and never thirsting.
As many come to embrace a more contemplative posture, we are learning what it means to come present to the truth: I am Beloved and I Belong! This deep knowing is living water. And the deep reception of such love and connection allows us to rest.
Instead of striving and constantly feeling like our best was never enough, we are finding life in the sufficiency that we are Beloved and we Belong.
This rest and this life means that we can now look up and outside of ourselves and find the strength and courage to look at our own privilege, to really see the systemic injustice (including within the church), and to discern the next best steps to participate with God in making all things right.
The invitation and challenge to engage in the work of justice is energized by the security and peace of knowing, I am Beloved and I Belong.
- What has energized you in pursuing justice?
- In what ways have you experienced “never thirsting”?
Lover of our souls, the one who counts the hairs on our heads, awaken us to our union with you that is already true. Remind us, in every place in our being, that we are yours and that nothing can separate us from your love. Silence the whispers of accusation that tell us we are not enough and haven’t done enough to experience your presence. Grant us the deep rest of knowing we are Beloved and we Belong. Amen.
This Lenten reflection accompanies the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming initiative. To learn more click here.