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GATHERING SONG                    “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”                     red book # 611


KYRIE                                                                                                                          red book # 155


EXODUS 17:1-7


ROMANS 5:1-11

JOHN 4:5-42

SERMON                                                                                                         Pastor Chris Halverson

The Holy Gospel According to John the 4th Chapter

So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.

Resting on the wrong side of the track
The bad part of town
A gay couple wandering into Westboro Baptist,
Into Fred Phelp’s funeral
A Ukrainian Soldier off base in Crimea
When the gates smashed open

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

When Nicodemus showed up,
To meet with Jesus
It was night
In the darkness was unbelief
Not now
Now in this noonday sun
All is visible
All is known
Here comes belief.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water,

A Samaritan woman…
No name.
Nicodemus had a name
She does not
Just some other person

and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)

When a parent wants to get something done
But the kids are there
They might be in the way
Daddy gives them busywork
Dig a hole
Count the leaves
Fill in the hole
Jesus says,
“Oh… could you all go and get us some food?”
So the disciples won’t get in the way
In the way of this woman’s important experience of Jesus

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.)
She’s unnamed… but
She’s a woman
She’s a Samaritan
The wrong gender
The wrong religion
For Jesus

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.”

Living water
The Rabbis recommend it
For ritual baths
The Early Church Fathers recommend it
For Baptism
Water that flows
Fresh and clean
Bubbling, clear, and living
From God’s good earth

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well 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.”

Think of it!
To be filled up with a life flowing
Flowing from the goodness of what God creates!
A living, clear, bubbling life
Fresh and clean
Flowing from purity and in the likeness of our Baptism

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.”

She just wants a small thing
One less backbreaking job
No more going to draw water in the heat of the day
That’s all, slaking thirst and less monotony
A small thing
But he’s offering more
A big thing

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”

Five husbands
Some assume adultery
My bet is abandonment
Maybe because of barrenness
And again
And again
And again
And again
Left to fend for herself
To carry her own water
To grow hard

The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.

Peter doesn’t even top this
Nicodemus was blind
But she sees
Sees Jesus in the noon light
Both of them
Exposed for who they are
He names her and she names him
And they see
There at Jacob’s well

Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

You’re a prophet, but not of my religion
Brass tacks then
The place between you and me
The space between Mt. Gerezim and Jerusalem—Mt. Zion
What of it?
…You say there is no space?
It’s not about place…

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

He doesn’t say I am he…
English communicates this poorly
He says I am.
…When Moses spake with the burning bush
The bush said, “I AM”
I am. with a period after it
No genealogy, but Genesis instead
The origin
The formation of it all
It all flows out from this
He says I AM

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?”

These awkward, unspoken, question marks
Would be shepherds crooks
Removing this bad comedian from the stage
Removing this woman from the Lord’s presence
This is why Jesus came up with that task
This is why he said,
“Oh… could you all go and get us some food?”
They see a woman
They see a Samaritan
The Disciples get in the way of Jesus

Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”
They left the city and were on their way to him.

Her question mark is a shepherds crook too
One leading her people,
Like Moses with a staff
Miriam’s song at the river
She’d found the one who fills her water jar
Fills it forever
She’d seen one who saw her
Knew her name and saw her
In the noon sun
She saw him
Come and see

Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.

Sometimes the disciples don’t see
Even in the noon sun
They don’t see

Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

She sowed
She sowed with her words
Sowed in the noon sun
Sowed because of who she saw
They did not labor
But they will reap
Because she sowed
There in the noon sun

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.”
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 truly the Savior of the world.”

They came to see
In the noon sun
Bright with belief
These Samaritans
Stayed with the Savior
Seeing him
Because she sowed
And said
And suggested
And saw her Savior.

The Gospel of the Lord, Thanks be to God.

HYMN of the DAY                 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”              red book # 807







OFFERTORY                                 “That Old Rugged Cross”



      Also, “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, red book # 335, red book # 623



SENDING SONG                 “Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer”                red book # 618