Reading (John 4:7-15, 27-30, 39-42)
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings 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 nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Just then his disciples came back. They marvelled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”
A few years ago I decided that it would be a nice idea to plant some daffodils in the garden bed that I can see through the French windows at the back of our house. The choice of bed would mean that while standing and doing the ironing, or while washing my hands in the utility room, I would be able to see these lovely flowers, even if the weather outside was not conducive to being in the garden itself.
The first year that they were planted I waited in eager anticipation during winter for the flowers to appear. When they finally came into bloom they looked a little sparse as each bulb produced just one flower, but as the years have progressed the bulbs have bulked up and now they are producing multiple flowers and the display has improved year on year.
I was really looking forward to what the display would look like this year. The weekend before last I noticed that the heads of the daffodils were just about ready to burst out into flower and so when I left on the Monday to go up to Lincoln I was hopeful that on my return some of them would have opened and the display would have started.
Unfortunately, what I had not anticipated was that on my return from Lincoln the garden would be covered in several inches of snow. The weight of the snow had flattened the daffodils, I was so disappointed. The snow melted and the daffodils looked very sad. I tried to see if I could rescue them but it was no good, the burden of the snow on them had bent them over.
Yesterday morning I woke to see that we had had rain overnight and on walking past the French windows I saw, to my great delight, that the daffodils were standing back up again, and the flowers had started to open up, they were making a recovery. Later, as I stood and did the ironing I marvelled at these wonderful flowers that looked so bright and cheerful following the rain.
Sometimes we might feel as if we are weighed down under a burden of snow and that even when it melts and the burden is no longer there we are unable to stand again, until, that is, we are refreshed. The reading at church last Sunday was of the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at the well. I have used just selected verses of it for our reading today but, if you have time, it is worth reading the whole thing. She was living under a burden, which Jesus took away and he refreshed her with living water so that she was able to stand again. What he did for her he is able and willing to do for each one of us, as he offers us living water to refresh our souls.
Lord Jesus, refresh us again with living water.