So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 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.) 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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the sell is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 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.” 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.” John 4:5-15.
The assigned reading continues through verse 42. The story doesn’t end here, but there is just so much going on this story. Walking in the neighborhood yesterday, this story got me questioning and dreaming. How are we the church like the well? How are we a place for any and all people to come and be filled with life-giving water? How are we out and about where the people are, where people go? Is the church deep and life-giving, Jesus seeking, all welcoming? Sadly too many congregations are wells filled with bitter water, poisoned with hopelessness, poisoned with selfishness. We need to always be called out of our fortresses of stone (buildings & hearts) and called by Jesus to listen with the stranger at the well.