Wells of the Spirit (Third Lent)

Jesus said to the woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life”. The woman replied, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!” (John 4: 13 – 15)

Jesus must have been very thirsty; he had been travelling and it was the heat of the day. His encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well, though, hinges on a much deeper yearning: her recognition of the difference between ordinary water and the Living Water Christ offers.

While the Samaritan woman’s search for earthly water led her to the water of eternal life, the reverse can also be true: Wells of the spirit can lead to earthly wells. When Bishop Walter Thomas, a Baptist pastor from Baltimore, went on a trip of church leaders in Kenya, he visited a community called Mbagathi, where everyone cooked, washed their clothes, bathed, and drank from the same stream. “We learned how polluting a stream can destroy whole communities,” he said, “their ability to harvest crops, to stay alive. We saw the hope that something as small as a well could bring”.

When he returned he got his congregation involved in providing educational and hygiene kits to African students and in the global effort to curb water pollution and shortages and raise awareness of water and hygiene issues among religious groups.

Without everyday water the body withers. Without Living Water so does the spirit. The slaking of both thirsts can begin at some pretty important wells.

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