Pause

Gently, gently, God is coming to you.

Quietly, patiently, Jesus is listening to you.

Peacefully, lovingly, the Spirit is speaking to you.

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Listen

He came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, which was near the land Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his journey, so he sat down at the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food.

The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)

Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.”

John 4:5-10

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Think

Isaac’s servant met Rebecca at a well. Jacob met Rachel at a well. Moses met Zipporah at a well. As this story begins, the reference to Jacob’s well suggests that its first hearers might have romance on the brain. This does not turn out to be a romantic encounter. It does become, like the stories above, an invitation into God’s family. In this case, back into God’s family.

The enmity between Jews and Samaritans had been growing for generations. But Jesus dismantles some of that animosity by engaging someone he isn’t supposed to talk to. “You’re not a part of us,” Jews and Samaritans were saying to one another in word and deed. In asking the Samaritan woman for water, Jesus asks for and offers the gift of shared community.

We like to say who we won’t talk to. Jesus is telling us who he will talk to: a person from an enemy people, a person from the opposite gender, a person who has been hurt many times, a person who was probably on the margins. What might happen if we follow Jesus’ example?

Amber Inscore Essick

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Pray

Teach me the far reaches of your love, O Lord. Release me from the small thinking of hatred. Give me the eternal water of friendship with God. Amen.

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Go

Drink of the deep love of God. As it fills your heart, let it overflow to those near you who most need to be seen and heard by God.

Amber Inscore Essick

Rev. Amber Inscore Essick co-pastors Port Royal Baptist Church, a rural church on the Kentucky River. She is the Adjunct Professor of Christian Worship at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. Amber loves being in the woods, watching birds, watching post-apocalyptic movies, and drinking hot tea. She's married to John and has three kids: Olin, Leif, and Wren.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

John Morton

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