This morning is one of the first sunny days we’ve had in what seems a long, long time. There seems to be an abundance of water everywhere as water mains break and the piles of snow begin to melt. Water is gushing down anything that has even a bit of a slope and pouring across sidewalks and roadways. Puddles line roadways making strolls along busy roads fraught with the danger of a sudden drenching with muddy water. It seems to be the season for water, gushing, rippling, pouring, and puddling.
Last weeks Gospel reading (John 4:5-42) also featured water, but not just ordinary water; “living water”, water that leaves us so satisfied that we will never thirst again. There will always be enough, in fact, there will be such an abundance that it is more than we can contain within our selves. In this encounter featuring a well, a woman and an empty bucket, Jesus used the metaphor of thirst to reveal that her thirst and need for water went beyond her physical needs. Her desire for clean fresh water was symptomatic of her true need, a need we all share, a desire to have the emptiness within her filled in a way that would never leave her empty again. In the course of this conversation the woman came to understand the truth of who Jesus was, who she was and the willingness of God to not only sate her thirst and fill her, but to pour the living water of Jesus healing, life-giving presence into her. In this encounter, she was filled to overflowing with living water. Unable to contain it within herself, she could not help but return to the place from which she had come and share the wonder and awe and her newfound discovery that the Messiah had come.
At the beginning of this season, I commented that Lent was a time for a “spiritual housecleaning.” This week marks the mid-point of our Lenten journey and I find ourselves at a point where, having cleared out the clutter, it is time to start the heavy cleaning, to bring out the buckets of water, to haul out the hoses and begin to wash off the remainder of the dust and grime that has accumulated over the winter seasons of my life. It is good news indeed, to know that I will not run out of water. God continues to provide the living water that I need to not only satisfy my own needs, but to pour out of me and off of me, bringing life to all whom it touches.
As I continue my journey toward Good Friday, I need to fill myself for the journey to the cross by opening myself to the living water that Jesus offers, fresh, clean and sparkling. But I also want to remember that not only is there an abundance, but it is a well that will never run dry. I don’t need to hoard it, but I can joyfully and freely allow it to pour out of me; splashing and drenching all I encounter with the grace and promise of that Living Water.
Just a thought on a Thursday morning.