Grace and peace to you all!
This Sunday’s lectionary reading is John 4:5-42, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. It’s an amazing story in many ways. Jesus and this unnamed woman have the longest theological conversation in all the gospels, and in the midst of their conversation, Jesus speaks of giving “living water.” “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty!” she responds.
Mary Oliver’s poem “Thirst” describes this as well as anyone I know:
Another morning and I wake with thirst
for the goodness I do not have.
I walk out to the pond and all the way God has
given us such beautiful lessons.
Oh Lord, I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the hour
and the bell; grant me, in your mercy,
a little more time.
Love for the earth and love for you are having such a long
conversation in my heart.
Who knows what will finally happen or where I will be sent,
yet already I have given a great many things
away, expecting to be told to pack nothing,
except the prayers which, with this thirst,
I am slowy learning.
May we, like this poet and like the woman at the well, learn both thirst and prayer as we continue our journey together into Lent.