Day 6 – (March 12, 2019)
5 So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9 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.) 10 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.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.” 15 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.”
We all have regrets – words we have uttered that we would love to take back; opportunities we missed or ones we should never have embraced; relationships we let go and ones that were wrong to have begun. There are so many things in life for which redemption seems impossible. Arthur Miller, the playwright, put it this way, ‘Maybe all one can do, is hope to end up with the right regrets.’
A woman Jesus encountered at a well in Samaria would have agreed. Like most of us, this woman longed for happiness, but it had eluded her. Thinking that love and marriage would give her life meaning and happiness, she had married five times. But each time she found that she had made the same mistake. Her life was a mess: she felt insecure, lonely, and dissatisfied.
Jesus had taken a detour and was traveling back north to Galilee through Samaria. There he showed he was not bothered by social custom or social taboos, for he, a Jewish man started a conversation with a Samaritan woman in public. He spoke then, as he speaks to you and me today, with equal concern and equal respect. Asking for some water, he shifted gears to introduce another level in the conversation – about living water. It gave him the opportunity to touch on the regrets in the woman’s life.
Through this conversation we begin to see that Jesus offers us water of such vitality that it satisfies our deep inner spiritual thirst. He was saying that he is the answer to the regrets and emptiness that gnaw our souls. Most of us aren’t willing to admit such a reality–and the woman that day was no exception. We pretend everything is all right, but if the truth is told, we all live a lot closer to despair than we like to think. So we activate all kinds of defense mechanisms against anything that threatens to expose our inward spiritual poverty. Deep down we all have a real spiritual longing. But, if we are going to find Jesus’ answer to our regrets, we have to be willing to acknowledge our need.
Almighty God, grant that we, who justly deserve to be punished for our sinful deeds, may in your mercy and kindness be pardoned and restored; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (1662 BCP, Lent 4)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 4:1-15