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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lectionary Leanings- Living Water edition...

Exodus 17: 1-7,  Psalm 95,  Romans 5: 1-11,  John 4:5-42

From water from a rock to water from a well there is a distinctly aquatic feel to the lectionary readings this week; I have to say that the Samaritan woman's story holds a special place in my heart. She comes to the well a broken lost soul and leaves it bursting with good news, running to the village where she'd previously been shunned to call them to come and see.

Her conversation with Jesus was many layered, questions of worship to challenges to lifestyle she does not shrink back from the one who offers her living water...

In Exodus too we see the quest for water, a thirsty people crying out for deliverance, yet quarrelling and questioning God's existence.

How will you use these watery images and themes this week, themes that speak not only of physical but spiritual thirst? In this time of Lent when we focus on the desert experience how do these images challenge, comfort and refresh you?

Will you be preaching on the lectionary this week? If you are, or if you're not chime in with some comments and share some living water...


  1. Are you thirsty?
    For what do you thirst?
    What are you going to do about it?

    These are the questions that form my early week ruminations as I prepare to preach Turn on the Tap

    Althoug I am wanting to find some way to refer to that fact that our Endlish word Whiskey is derived from the Gaelic for Water of Life (and I learned yesterday that the Latin Aquae Vitae was also used for distilled beverages, I sense a theme)

  2. Not preaching this week, but I'm intrigued by the way the Samaritan woman uses all the conversational gambits people use when they desperately need the Water of Life and are afraid they might get it.

    Maybe Jesus' responses are a primer, too, for how we could learn to respond when total strangers come up and say theologically dorky things to us like "Ain't it great to be saved?"

  3. I'm at the well this week. Gord I love the title!!! Mine is not nearly as creative...Well Water

    Thinking about doing more of a first person type sermon. I want to speak from a person who today would be in the same shoes of the Samaritan women and then connect it back to the gospel. Any ideas would be appreciated.


  4. Purple, I just emailed you a meditation on the WATW which I've used a couple of times for retreats. Not exactly what you're looking for but perhaps it will offer a start.

    Supply preaching again and so far all I have it the title: Parched in the Wilderness.

    I think it's something about how sometimes we know we need and make a direct appeal for God's gift of life/water because God has led us into something and we're in trouble, and sometimes we have no idea how much of a wilderness we're in, but Jesus appears out of nowhere and offers unexpected life/water.

    I'm about to go for a walk and try to figure it out.

  5. Using the Exodus text this week and making reference to the woman at the well.
    Talking a lo about thirst and how we need water of a different sort to quench our parched lips and dehydrated souls

  6. I'm with the Old Testament - water from the rock. Been musing on the grumbling at Moses as leader. Dare I go there? Have some space tomorrow where I might be able to pull it a bit more together.

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  8. I've decided on Exodus for sure, but I have no idea where I'll go with it yet. Not at all. I haven't even really read it quietly yet, but I know that I just preached WATW in August, and although I LOVE it I'm not up for doing it again. That's what I get for going off lectionary.

  9. Sadly, I'm not preaching this week since I'm leading our Women's Retreat, but I may bring in this text for our Sunday morning worship. Just as an interesting note, I can't remember where I read it, but it has been commented that there is a possibility that the woman's dismal marital history was a result of her infertility and not a result of immorality. This interpretation makes an interesting connection between barrenness, thirst, and the need for living water.

    Word verification "dings" !!

  10. so the WATW would be some kind of cognate-sister of the woman in the Sadducees' test-case, then? MOST interesting, indeed.

  11. I'm doing a Lenten series about the nature of humanity using the lectionary. Last week as about was entitled "When We Trust." This week, It's "When We Test" these all use the Old Testament Scripture... cleansing water become a theme for me in this sermon, God's gift that washes us off and calls us love in the mist of our falleness.

  12. I keep thinking "Well Water; Well, Water; Well...Water"

    I have a feeling there's a really creative family/interactive sermon in this, more likely about Exodus than the gospel, but I haven't discovered it yet. Any ideas?

  13. I am focusing on the Woman at the well and will probably include some cultural stuff, because I wonder if WATW is really as immoral as she is traditionally portrayed. Women had so few rights. Thanks lady father for the comment about infertility rather than immortality.

    I think I am focusing on how shame, and culture, are barriers in our receiving the grace, the living water, that we are offered.
    I also might explore verse 14, 'a spring of water gushing up to eternal life' the idea that the water of life gushes up form within. such an abundant word.

  14. I'm supply preaching again, and focusing on the Samaritan woman. THis text was my senior sermon, lo these many years ago (yikes, 9 years!). Not sure where I'm going, title is "Water of Life." Lady father, that's intriguing for sure, thanks for the infertility idea.

    A busy week, following an exhausting Spring Break, and I'm expecting some old friends to be in town visiting, so I'm feeling some added pressure.

  15. I am guest preaching this week - I am enjoying having a community to check in to while I try and keep my sermon from going 15 different directions.
    I also have been considering how the woman been branded with immorality. David Lose (from the Center for Biblical Preaching) has an article over at huffington post that talks about her marriages in the culture and suggests a very different way to interpret the exchange about her husbands

  16. Hi All. Longtime reader, first time poster here! I was wondering, have any of you noticed the potential connection between the WATW at Elizabeth Taylor...Seriously! It amazes me how many retrospectives on Taylor's life focus on her "morality" and her many marriages. Some things never change...

    Here is an interesting look withs ome good sources, if you are intersted:!5784963/our-fascination-with-the-much+married-woman

    Still not sure if it would be possible to make reference to Taylor without being totally distracting and/or innapropriate. It seems like there could be a good illustration in there, though...

  17. Liz, good point! And I loved this tweet by @UnvirtuousAbbey:

    "Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?" Luke 20:33 RIP Elizabeth Taylor

    As a person now twice-divorced, though, I don't think I'm going there...

  18. I'm going with the theme of water - both because it's in the Old Testament and Gospel readings and also because March 22 was World Water Day. Ordinary and living water are both necessary for life as a complete human being.

    1-4 Grace, I love your phrase - "parched lips and dehydrated souls." I might have to use that.

  19. Wondering how verses 31-38 fit into this conversation. Is anyone struggling with this part of the text?

    Am also seeing this as encounters at the well--Jesus and the woman both transformed; Jesus and the disciples; all the rest of us who gather at the well.


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