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Pastor’s Corner 3.12.2023

The Longing of Every Human Heart

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today we hear the iconic story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman that he meets at Jacob’s well. It is a story about a person looking for happiness in all the wrong places. The first hint that something is awry is that the woman comes by herself to the well and does it at high noon.  Women would not normally go to the well alone and certainly not at the peak of the daily heat.  It gives us a hint that the woman is an outcast and is shunned by others.

Next, Jesus, a Jew, asks the Samaritan woman for a drink.  This too is highly unusual because Jews didn’t speak to Samaritans, much less a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan woman.  But this is Jesus’ attempt to reach out to the woman.  Jesus tells her, “If you knew the gift of God,” in other words, “if you realized who you were speaking to,” “you would have asked for ‘living water’ which would quench your thirst forever.” Jesus is speaking, not of H20, but of divine grace, the “water” of his own divine life living.

Then Jesus tells the woman to go call her husband and it becomes evident that this woman has been living the immoral life of an adulteress.  But she is thirsting for something better and she realizes that Jesus offers her a way out and a way toward the happiness and wholeness that she longs for.  She leaves her empty water jar at the well, indicating her repentance, and she begins her search for the living water of which Jesus spoke.

After encountering Jesus, the woman cannot help but tell others about him.  Eventually, the whole town comes to believe in Jesus.

This Gospel story speaks of the longing of every human heart. So often we try to fulfill our deepest longings for love, peace and joy by looking in all the wrong places or by taking sinful shortcuts to hoped-for happiness.  Jesus reminds us that our deliverance from the addictions of sin and our path to true freedom can be found only in him.  Lent is a great opportunity to encounter Jesus in a new way and receive the living water he offers.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,