Pul­pit Notes

The Covington News - - Religion -

ing to draw with and a wo­man ev­ery­one shunned. So he talked to her about thirst — and his power to quench it. It’s in­ter­est­ing in this con­ver­sa­tion that he quenches her thirst with some­thing that we prob­a­bly wouldn’t have reached for on our own. Af­ter start­ing out the con­ver­sa­tion in the earthly, phys­i­cal realm — the realm of wa­ter from a well to quench thirst, Je­sus quickly turns to the spir­i­tual and of­fers some amaz­ing prom­ises to the lady. Then, as soon as she’s in­ter­ested, he gets her even more thirsty — by con­fronting her sin — “ You’ve had five hus­bands, and the man you have now isn’t your hus­band.” He doesn’t ex­cuse or look away from her sin. He shows her that that sin needs to be dealt with be­fore any quench­ing can be­gin. So she asks how it can be dealt with, “Are we sup­posed to wor­ship here in Sa­maria or do we have to go to Jerusalem?” Isn’t that a ques­tion all of hu­man­ity asks, “ How do we quench that thirst? How do we find that divine?” Peo­ple have tried to find it in money and fame, sex and par­ties, even char­ity work and fam­ily. But the thirst per­sists. So Je­sus makes it clear — it is not about the out­ward ac­tion. You’ll find God when you wor­ship in Spirit ( through the gift of faith the Holy Spirit brings) and in truth ( never back­ing down from God’s in­fal­li­ble word). His an­swer holds true for us — whether we gather at a cathe­dral or in a day care, whether we have can­dles and in­cense or gui­tars and clap­ping — let’s make sure that all we do at wor­ship has a rea­son — led by the Spirit and truth, not by our own quest to be spe­cial and to feel good about our­selves. Then we find a drink that quenches. You see, this truth quenches be­cause it gives the ul­ti­mate an­swer. That wo­man wasn’t go­ing to have any res­o­lu­tion if Je­sus were just a great teacher, just a prophet. She knew the dis­cus­sion wasn’t done. She knew that it would all come down to God keep­ing His prom­ises of do­ing some­thing about that sin. Even know­ing the right way to wor­ship left her short if she didn’t know about the prom­ises kept. So she says, “ I know that Mes­siah ( called Christ) is com­ing. When he comes, he will ex­plain ev­ery­thing to us.” There’s still a lit­tle bit of thirst there, isn’t there? So Je­sus quenches it once and for all: Verse 26: “ Then Je­sus de­clared, “ I who speak to you am he.” Ev­ery prom­ise of a Sav­ior from sin was re­al­ized in Je­sus. Ev­ery prom­ise of a quench­ing of our thirst was stand­ing right there be­fore her. The One to be pierced for our trans­gres­sions, the One to crush Satan’s head, the One to rec­on­cile us to God was right there. That is a drink that quenches. Let’s gather next week to take an­other drink from this wa­ter of life. Pas­tor Jonathan E. Scharf Abid­ing Grace Lutheran


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