Reading (John 4:4-14)
Now he (Jesus) had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’
‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’
Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’
What do you do with that odd bit of bread that you have forgotten about and find dry and rather unappealing at the back of the bread bin? Do you make croutons with it or maybe breadcrumbs or do you simply put it outside for the birds? In the recipe book that I use most for making bread James, the author, suggests that you use the left over, unwanted bread to make a bread that he calls ‘Revival Bread’. He says in his book (James Morton Brilliant Bread) that this bread has many names, he calls it Revival Bread because it has connotations of hope, and because his girlfriend wouldn’t let him call it Jesus Bread. What you do is that you take that old, unloved, going dry, piece of leftover bread and you soak it in water for 24 hours, you then add it to the usual ingredients of flour, water and yeast and it makes a wonderful new loaf of bread.
This reminded me of the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. She was unloved, unwanted and rejected by those around her because of the life that she had led, but through her meeting with Jesus, the source of living water, she was revived, made new and given the chance to start her life afresh.
I made my Revival Bread on Easter Sunday, which seemed entirely appropriate. We may sometimes feel that we are dried up, unwanted and unloved, but we know that we can come to Jesus and he will refresh us and revive us. There are many people in our world who need to know what it is to be revived, who need to know, like the Samaritan woman, that they are loved and that Jesus is ready to give them the gift of eternal life it they ask him.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are the source of living water. Revive us, we pray, this day, so that we can go out and tell others about you.