The story of Jesus meeting the woman of Samaria at the well is unquestionably my favorite Gospel story; in my faith community, it is also the reading for this Third Sunday in Lent. Here is a link, if you’d like to take a read: John 4:5-22
For me, this story is rich with all those aspects of social justice that challenge and inspire me: challenging gender norms, confronting racial relations, consciousness-raising about social expectations, posing questions, and exposing assumptions about relationships and living conditions we’d rather not speak about. Jesus confronts all of these socially constructed challenges that could stand in the way of authentic dialogue in this conversation, and the woman at the center of the story puts her whole self out there, in authenticity rather than deference. Jesus meets this woman exactly where she is at, and as exactly who she is. He doesn’t do this by judging, or talking down to her, or telling her what she ought to be doing differently. Jesus recognizes and names the basic, human thirst that we all share in common, this living water necessary for survival. And in that shared desire for Living Water, they understand each other. She also comes to know exactly who Jesus is, and she is compelled to share that knowledge and grace with others.
I cannot imagine a more perfect metaphor for how I personally…and I imagine many of us…have encountered divine love and grace in our lives.
This week, if you’re Cultivating Sacred Space virtually, consider how central water is to our spiritual journey. Where are you parched? Where does the water of divine love and grace out pour to quench your spirit? Click on the image or link below to the interactive image for a new spiritual practice each day.